ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A “stand your ground” petition has been filed in the deadly shooting of Adam Amoia, a man who investigators say was killed during an altercation outside Dos Gatos in St. Augustine.
Luis Casado is charged with manslaughter and carrying a concealed firearm in the shooting, which occurred in May.
In the petition, Patrick Canan, Casado’s attorney, states that Amoia and another man “began to suddenly and in concert violently attack” Casado “for no apparent reason.”
Casado was seen talking with several of Amoia’s friends outside the bar, a conversation that the petition says “was of no real significance and certainly nothing threatening.” The petition says “Amoia, drunk and leaning on the wall, suddenly became aggressive and insisted that Mr. Casado leave immediately,” even though Casado “did nothing to incite rudeness or violence.”
The petition says that before Casado had a chance to “make sense of Mr. Amoia’s bizarre request,” Amoia shoved him, then hit him in the face, knocking off his glasses, rendering Casado legally blind. It states the other man then punched Casado and Amoia followed that by hitting Casado four more times in the face, when Casado “found himself forced up against a wall.”
The petition says after Amoia hit Casado two more times, “he was afraid for his life and shot his firearm to prevent serious bodily injury or even death.”
The petition points out the sequence took 15 seconds and was caught on surveillance video. Casado’s lawyer notes that his client has no prior criminal history, but that both Amoia and the other man do.
Attorney Gene Nichols, who is not affiliated with the case, spoke with News4Jax about the petition.
“If the court decides to deny this motion, it does not mean that Mr. Casado will not put up a self defense (claim), which in essence will pretty much be the same thing. At a trial, Mr. Casado will obviously defend himself pretty much the same way he would stand your ground motion,” Nichols said.
The petition also includes the toxicology report on Amoia’s body from the medical examiner. Amoia’s blood alcohol concertation level was .266, more than three times the legal limit for driving in Florida. The report found he also had hydrocodone and marijuana in his system.
“What you’re going to see is the State Attorney’s Office is going to put on all of the evidence that they believe will trump the stand your ground motion to show what Mr. Casado was doing, what mistakes he made, why he could have walked away from the situation, whatever it is that they can establish,” Nichols explained.
News4Jax on Monday afternoon requested comment from family members and friends of Amoia. At the time, no one was interested in speaking about the petition.
In June, the family led a walk through downtown St. Augustine for Amoia, who they say was well-known in the restaurant industry.
“No matter what happens, we’ll never get him back, but we believe that justice will prevail,” Rosalina Chryssaidis, Amoia’s cousin, said on the night of the walk.
A judge has set an April date for the stand your ground hearings.