3 Victims, Suspect Dead, After Domestic Violence “Incident”
In early April 2023, three victims – including two children – were killed after a domestic violence “incident” was reported in Orlando. When law enforcement arrived at the home in question, they soon heard shots from inside. The suspect soon left the home, choosing to fire at law enforcement, who returned fire. All three victims and the suspect were transported to local hospitals, but all of them died from their injuries. As of this writing, there was no information on whether the suspect had committed previous acts of domestic violence.
The Nature Of Domestic Violence In Florida
Domestic violence comes in several different types, though there is almost always a physical component. Florida law defines it as any criminal offense “resulting in physical injury or death” to one of the perpetrator’s family or household members (a spouse, ex-spouse, co-parent, person related by blood or marriage, or people with whom the perpetrator is/was residing as a family). However, there is no actual crime of domestic violence in Florida law – rather, the underlying crime is charged, and then if conviction happens, the existence of domestic violence factors is used as a sentencing enhancement.
The victims of the Orlando tragedy were identified as the suspect’s son, the daughter of his girlfriend, and the mother of his girlfriend. The girlfriend was not present in the home at the time of the shootings, but law enforcement confirmed that the suspect lived in the home with all the victims. Had he survived the incident, he would almost certainly be charged with domestic violence-related homicide.
Defense Is Possible
If you are in a domestic violence situation that has resulted in the death of the alleged victim, make no mistake, you are in serious trouble. While everyone has the right to their day in court, domestic violence-related offenses are taken very seriously, particularly when the victim is a child. While sometimes these events are spontaneous, a significant percentage are premeditated – and the penalty for premeditated murder in Florida may be the ultimate penalty one can suffer.
If there is more to the story, an experienced attorney can help you to assert a defense – the most common are ‘excusable homicide’ and self-defense. While neither of these would have applied in Orlando, your story may be different; Florida permits the use of deadly force when defending oneself (or another person) from attempted murder, and it also characterizes a homicide as ‘excusable’ if committed accidentally and “in the absence of the commission of an unlawful act.”
Contact A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney
While it is unfortunately too late for the victims – and the suspect – in Orlando, your case may be different. A West Palm Beach criminal attorney from the firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can try and help you through your case, where the stakes are higher than high. Call our office today to speak to an attorney.