Two years after shooting and killing a man in self-defense, a Florida man was finally cleared Sept. 14. A judge threw out the case against Jason Dames, ruling the shooting justified under Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
Jason Dames Cleared in Fatal Shooting
The case spans back to Sept. 1, 2018, when Dames shot 38-year-old Jackie McMiller at a restaurant in Fort Pierce, reported tcpalm.com. Authorities charged the 33-year-old Dames with second-degree murder with a firearm.
But now St. Lucie County Circuit Judge William Roby ruled Dames “was justified in the … ultimate use of deadly force pursuant to Florida law,” reported tcpalm.com. “(Dames) was not in any way the person who initially provoked the use of force against him,” Roby ruled, adding “McMiller was agitated and the provoker in this deadly scenario.”
Dames’ lawyer, Adam Less, claimed the arresting officer made a mistake, reported tcpalm.com. He said the officer incorrectly named Dames the aggressor in the altercation.
“The basis for this entire incident was a medical condition that gave (Dames) a reason to believe he could die when he was attacked,” Less said, reported tcpalm.com. “And the lead detective never looked into it.”
Dames suffers from being blind in one eye, reported tcpalm.com. He also lives with a shunt in his head, leaving him vulnerable to head injury.
“A reasonable and prudent person in the same position as Mr. Dames would have believed that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to Mr. Dames,” Roby stated, reported tcpalm.com. “The state has failed to prove … that Mr. Dames had no objectively reasonable basis to use deadly force against Mr. McMiller at any time during their fateful encounter.”
Florida’s stand your ground law allows the use of deadly force in self-defense. It calls for an imminent threat of bodily harm or death to prove justified.