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'Stand your ground' petition filed in beating death case

Ryan Ford

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The attorney for a man charged with misdemeanor battery in the beating death of Ryan Ford at a bonfire has filed a "stand your ground" petition.

Attorney John Phillips, whose client is Robert Cline, claims Ford was the aggressor that night in January 2013, threatening to beat up several people at the party.

The petition says Ford struck Cline in the face, and Cline shoved him away, and when Ford charged at Cline, Cline punched Ford, causing him to stumble.

Ryan Ford

That's when Christopher Hoffman jumped in. Hoffman was found guilty last month of felony battery in Ford's death, but was acquitted of second-degree murder.

Phillips said Cline actually tried to help Ford.

The stand your ground hearing is scheduled for Oct. 21.

Hoffman's sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 24.