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Florida Man Charged With Killing Iguana Tries ‘Stand Your Ground’ Defense

WEST PALM Beach, Fla. (AP) — A judge has turned down the “stand your ground” defense of a Florida gentleman who said he defeat an iguana to death only immediately after it attacked him, biting him on the arm.

PJ Nilaja Patterson, 43, need to stand trial on a felony animal cruelty cost, Palm Seaside County Circuit Choose Jeffrey Dana Gillen dominated a short while ago in denying the abnormal defense, the South Florida SunSentinel described.

The “stand your ground” regulation makes it possible for a individual who is below attack and fairly fears death or good bodily damage to use lethal force, even if they could retreat to security. It has been employed in numerous superior-profile conditions considering the fact that it was adopted 16 decades back, but this may be the very first time the receiver of deadly power was an animal.

Prosecutors say Patterson “savagely beat, tormented, tortured, and killed” the 3-foot (1-meter) iguana in a 50 %-hour attack caught on surveillance video.

Prosecutor Alexandra Dorman explained that “at no time was the iguana posing any true threat” to Patterson very last September and he “was not justified in his actions when he kicked this defenseless animal at the very least 17 periods triggering its loss of life.”

Animal control officers said Patterson tormented the animal, which is why it little bit him on the arm, triggering a wound that required 22 staples to close.

Under state legislation, folks are allowed to eliminate iguanas, an invasive species, in a speedy and humane way. A necropsy, while, confirmed the iguana experienced a lacerated liver, broken pelvis and inner bleeding, which were being “painful and terrifying” injuries, prosecutors contend.

But Patterson’s general public defender, Frank Vasconcelos, wrote that the iguana was the aggressor when it “leaned forward with its mouth vast open up and exhibiting its sharp teeth, in a threatening manner” and attacked Patterson. Bleeding from his chunk, Patterson “kicked the iguana as far as he could,” Vasconcelos reported.

“Patterson believed that the iguana could have injected poison in him and hence he rushed to incapacitate the iguana the finest way he could in buy to protect its antidote,” Vasconcelos wrote.

Iguanas are not toxic and generally run when a human approaches.

“Any pressure employed by Patterson in get to more avoid great bodily hurt or even demise was moderately justified,” Vasconcelos wrote.

Judge Gillen turned down that argument. Patterson could get up to five years in jail if convicted.





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