ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – On the same day that the State Attorney’s Office released surveillance video of a deadly shooting outside a downtown St. Augustine bar, the attorney for the man charged in the case told a judge in court Wednesday that he will be filing a “stand your ground” petition.
Adam Amoia, a 37-year-old business owner, was shot and killed in May outside Dos Gatos, a bar on Hypolita Street. A month later, a grand jury in June indicted Luis Casado, 30, on charges of manslaughter and carrying a concealed weapon.
On Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors released two surveillance videos of the May 29 shooting. One video, which is taken right outside Dos Gatos, shows Casado, who’s wearing a black suit, as well as Amoia, who’s wearing jeans and a baseball cap, and his friends. It appears there’s a disagreement, and the video shows Amoia and another man, who’s wearing a red jersey, slapping Casado. After Casado is struck in the face several times, he pulls out a gun and shoots. After the first shot, Amoia runs outside of the camera’s viewpoint.
In the other video, which is from a restaurant across the street, Casado can be seen with his arm extended, gun in hand. Then the muzzle flashes.
Earlier Wednesday, Casado had his first pretrial hearing since the indictment. He did not appear at the hearing. He wasn’t obligated to. But, his attorney, Patrick Canan, did.
Canan told St. Johns County Judge R. Lee Smith that he’s calling for a “stand your ground” hearing, claiming Casado acted in self-defense, which is protected by Florida law.
“It’s obviously a very tragic case, loss of life, I understand that, and my sympathy goes out to the family,” Canan told News4Jax after the hearing. “But I believe he acted in self-defense. He was in fear for his life. He was attacked by two people and he defended himself.”
Only 10 of Amoia’s family members and friends were allowed inside the courtroom because of COVID-19 protocols. A few dozen others gathered outside, setting up a tent and a television to livestream the hearing. They had a large light-up sign in his name and flew a banner reading, #JusticeForAdamAmoia.
“We are family and friends. We will be here every step of the way,” Amoia’s younger brother, Leonard Amoia, told News4Jax. “He was just always there for you, and that’s why we will be here for him -- every step of the way.”
Many of Amoia’s family members have been able to watch the surveillance video. For now, due to the sensitive nature of the case, Amoia’s family members aren’t talking about details. They are, however, making it clear that they want justice.
“Seeing all the love and support and all the people of come out to try to fight for justice for him, I think it just goes to show how many people he touched and the type of person he was,” Amoia’s younger brother said as his mother, relatives and friends wept.
At the hearing, Casado’s lawyer also identified 58 witnesses he wants to depose.
It’s unclear when the “stand your ground” hearing might be held.
The next pretrial hearing is Oct. 28.
Casado has been released from the St. Johns County jail on bond.