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'Stand your ground' hearing held for woman who shot, killed husband

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 44-year-old Jacksonville woman who admits to shooting and killing her husband is standing behind Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law as the reason why she pulled the trigger.

Callie Adams told Jacksonville police in 2011 that she shot her husband, Rodney Adams, two times during a fight inside their car because Adams was repeatedly punching her in the head. Police said the shooting happened at close range in the parking lot of a nightclub.

A stand your ground hearing for Adams was held Thursday at the Duval County Courthouse, a hearing that will determine whether or not this case ever goes to trial.

According to police reports, after an argument, Adams claimed her husband punched her repeatedly in the head, and the former Marine reached for her gun in the family car and fired.

In opening statements Thursday, defense attorneys argued Adams was standing her ground, citing years of physical abuse and what defense attorneys call "battered spouse syndrome."

The couple's daughter was the first to testify, telling the judge about the physical abuse she witnessed at home.

"And she said, 'Rodney, get out, don't push me,' and he said, 'Don't you tell me what to do.' And then he jumped on her," Janet Adams said.

She told the judge she and her sister were bruised from the spankings their father gave them, but prosecutors say those spankings didn't constitute abuse. Prosecutors also pointed to inconsistencies in Janet Adams' testimony about whether her mother was beaten with an open or closed fist.

"I did ask you point blank, was it open fist or closed fist," a prosecutor said.

"Yeah, you did, but I told you it was an open hand, but I'm telling you now it was a closed fist," Janet Adams said.

"But that's a problem because you're telling me something different than what you told me under oath before," the prosecutor said.

Rodney Adams' brother testified, saying he only witnessed violence in the Adams household one time over 20 years.

The couple's youngest daughter told the court about another incident where Callie Adams pulled a gun, years before she shot her husband.

"So you saw your mom pull the gun out and point it in the direction of your dad," a prosecutor asked.

"Yes ma'am," Loretta Adams said.

"And what happened then?" the prosecutor asked.

"My dad backed up," Loretta Adams said.

About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.