Court Cases

Stand Your Ground Law News Press

Stand Your Ground law may lead to dismissal of manslaughter charge against Fort Myers man

Pat Gillespie – pgillespie@news-press.com September 15, 2010

3:02 P.M. – A Fort Myers man charged with manslaughter after a June 2009 killing at his house in Pine Manor will likely have the charge dismissed because of the Stand Your Ground law. Adeirean Carey, 27, was arrested June 9, 2009 and charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Marcos Santiago at 5461 Fourth Ave. Prosecutors charged Carey with manslaughter. But evidence at the scene – a broken window latch found inside the house and both blood and a hat found just outside the window – pointed to self defense, Carey’s attorney David Brener argued at a hearing this afternoon. Assistant state attorney Bob Lee didn’t present any argument or witnesses to dispute the defense’s motion to dismiss.

‘The Stand Your Ground law has ramifications that the Legislature did not envision,” Lee told Lee Circuit Judge Mark Steinbeck. “It ofttimes slaps the face of grieving families.” The state’s Stand Your Ground law allows people to defend themselves if they feel they or someone else is in immediate danger. It allows them the right to not have to retreat. About a year after he was arrested in connection with Santiago’s death, Carey was arrested on a charge of battery for allegedly stabbing a man at a party.

In July during a regularly scheduled hearing, Steinbeck decided to hold Carey without bond on the manslaughter charge. A first-appearance judge had granted Carey a $51,500 bond on the manslaughter charge when he was arrested in 2009. After being arrested again this July, Carey was given a $100,000 bond on the battery charge. Because he was arrested while the first case was pending, Steinbeck had the authority to reassess Carey’s bond. If Steinbeck grants the motion, which is expected to do since the state didn’t oppose it, Carey’s $100,000 bond would again be applicable. He has been held in the Lee County Jail for the last two months. Carey’s family members declined comment. Santiago’s sister, Gloria Santiago, is disappointed with the ruling.

“The guy is lying and we only want justice,” she said. “Doesn’t everyone see that he’s dangerous? They’re just going to let him free?” Carey is scheduled to appear in court next month. Steinbeck told attorneys he will work to issue an order before the next court date.