LIVE: ‘Stand your ground’ hearing in deadly St. Augustine shooting begins

Luis Casado charged with manslaughter, carrying concealed firearm in fatal shooting of Adam Amoia

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The “stand your ground” hearing in the fatal shooting of Adam Amoia, who died during an altercation last year outside now-closed Dos Gatos in St. Augustine, is scheduled to begin Monday, Nov. 14 at 1:30 p.m. (The hearing was delayed from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

The defense plans to play surveillance video in its bid to have the manslaughter charge against Luis Casado dismissed.

Casado, 31, is also charged with carrying a concealed firearm in the shooting, which occurred in May 2021.

** WARNING: This hearing may show video, photos and audio that are graphic in nature. Viewer discretion is advised. NOTE: Audio is not controlled by News4JAX. Some parts may be hard to hear**

RELATED: Prosecutors release video of deadly St. Augustine shooting as attorney calls for ‘stand your ground’ hearing

In November of 2021, a “stand your ground” petition was filed. In the document, Patrick Canan, Casado’s attorney, states that Amoia and another man “began to suddenly and in concert violently attack” Casado “for no apparent reason.”

Luis Casado (St. Johns County Sheriff's Office)

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 that “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 that 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.

An attorney not affiliated with the case said the video makes the case straightforward and also said if the judge finds Casado’s actions reasonable and ‘stand your ground’ applies then the case would end.

“If he is found to have been justified and you stand your ground, the terminology of the statute is he is immune from prosecution, and he cannot be prosecuted for all that,” Attorney Randy Reep said.

Reep also said the “stand your ground” law does not allow you to commit other crimes, so Casado would still have to stand for the concealed firearm charge if the judge finds that ‘stand your ground’ applies.

“I find a genuine reluctance on the part of the judges to take this question out of the hands of the jury because he makes it he’s ruling immune forever from prosecution,” Reep said. “If the facts support that then the judge will make that decision.”

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.

In April, loved ones of Amoia, 37, came together on what would have been his 38th birthday.

Moments before a walk to Dos Gatos in downtown St. Augustine, a gathering was held at Amoia’s family’s restaurant, Georgie’s Diner, where friends shared memories.

Rosalina Chryssaidis, a cousin, said Amoia was loved by the community — “a good friend, brother, cousin and son.”

“Every day I wake up and I’m like, this isn’t real. Like waking up and having to relive it is the hardest part,” Chryssaidis said. “And I know that he would want us to be positive because that’s who he was, and that’s what this is about. We’re trying to be positive — speak good things into the world, just how he would be. And he would want us to celebrate his birthday.”

Following the meeting at Georgie’s Diner, the group stood outside Dos Gatos, which has since closed, holding candles, signs and photos of Amoia.

About the Authors:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a communication degree.

A Florida girl and North Carolina A&T SU grad who thrives in breaking news.