Judge denies 'stand your ground' petition
44-year-old woman charged in shooting death of husband in 2011
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A circuit judge has denied the "stand your ground" petition of a 44-year-old Jacksonville woman who said she shot and killed her husband in self-defense.
During a hearing on the motion in April, doctors for Callie Adams claim she had "battered wife syndrome," and post-traumatic stress disorder and flashbacks, which added to her thinking she was in imminent danger when she killed her husband, Rodney Adams.
"The defendant stands before the court a 22-year veteran of the United States military, and now she faces a second-degree murder charge," Judge Adrian Soud said.
Adams told detectives her husband was punching her in the head from the back seat and choking her while she was driving, which is why she shot him two times. She said she fired directly behind her to make him stop, but prosecutors said that was physically impossible.
Soud said Adams had the burden to prove that she was entitled to stand your ground and use of justifiable deadly force with no obligation to retreat.
During her stand your ground hearing in April, Adams said she didn't intend to kill her husband, she only wanted him to stop punching her while she was behind the wheel of the family car.
Prosecutors said Adams could have screamed for help or simply gotten out of the car and ran away.
Soud cited several inconsistencies in Adams' testimony in making his ruling.
"The totality of the circumstances and the evidence presented to the court prohibit the defendant from establishing her burden at this stage of the proceedings," Soud said.
He said the ruling does not have any affect on the trial.
"Certainly, by every account, the marriage was violent," Soud said. "There was one occurrence when the husband suffered some clear temper problems. He was subject to moments of anger."
Prosecutors argued that didn't give Adams the right to kill her husband. And Soud questioned why no one ever contacted police during all the years of domestic violence.
"The altercation that occurred is not, in itself, that a person in ordinary circumstances would be in great fear by death and bodily harm," Soud added.
The defense plans to appeal the ruling. A trial date has not yet been set.
"We still very strongly believe in Mrs. Adams and this case and that she would be immune from any prosecution at this point," said defense attorney Rhonda Peoples-Waters. "Mrs. Adams has for more than 20 years had to deal with the abuse of a man who she loved intently. The issue is whether or not she had a reasonable fear from what she suffered over the last 20 years, so the judge took note of that, and that would certainly been an issue in trial."
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