US Man Given 40 Years in 'Stand Your Ground' Murder Case


A US man has been sentenced to four decades in prison after being found guilty of murdering his neighbour.

Raul Rodriguez, from Texas, shot teacher Kelly Danaher after an argument about a noisy party.

He had argued that a state law known as “stand your ground” allowed him to shoot the 36-year-old.

A similar defence is also being used by a Florida neighbourhood watch volunteer who shot dead unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February.

The “stand your ground” doctrine grants individuals scope to use deadly force if they feel seriously in danger.




Post Continues on www.bbc.co.uk





Posted in 2nd Amendment, Constitution, Law Tagged with: , , , , , ,
42 comments on “US Man Given 40 Years in 'Stand Your Ground' Murder Case
  1. aCultureWarrior says:

    This is not a good example of a legitimate “Stand Your Ground” law incident, nor should it be compared with George Zimmernan’s case.

    • No? Why not? Zimmerman disobeyed the police dispatcher’s distinct order to stay in his vehicle, to NOT accost the man. If he had done so, none of this would have happened. I don’t think a 2nd degree murder charge was warranted in this case, but negligent homicide, or accidental homicide are totally apro pro

      • aCultureWarrior says:

        First of all, most police dispatchers are civilians, and none are commissioned officers that have the authority to enforce what they suggest a private citizen should do over the phone.

        From the looks of George Zimmernan’s wounds (broken nose, lacerations on the back of his head), the evidence pretty much shows that the thug Trayvon Martin “accosted” Zimmerman.

        Are you shivering in your dress at the thought of a race riot Sharon Jones?

  2. jong says:

    I guess the Brit’s need to take a course in comparative law.   The two cases are nothing alike from start to finish except that some one ended up dead in both.

  3. TheSunDidIt says:

    Nothing similar at all to the Zimmerman case and it’s pretty obvious from only a cursory glance at the two stories.  Must need another sensational headline.

  4. Sutekh says:

    Stand Your Ground was never intended to make it possible for thugs to provoke fights, and then shoot their victim.

    This is different from the Zimmerman case entirely.

    Texas law permits a citizen to shoot intruders who are fleeing with his property at night. I told a colleague from Boston this, and he was shocked. I also told him not to try it, because the state considers shotting someone such a serious action that even if all the circumstances met the conditions of the law, prosecution might go on anyway.

    • Sloop Johnb says:

      Arguably Zimmerman provoked the fight.  Neighborhood Watch is specifically enjoined from accosting visitors/etc….supposed to call police.  Armed while doing Neighborhood Watch….just stupid.

      • Phxrcf says:

        “Neighborhood Watch is specifically enjoined from accosting visitors/etc….supposed to call police. ”  Zimmerman did not accost Martin according to any evidence we have seen.  He did call the police.  Seems like he followed the Neighborhood watch guidelines to me.

        • No, he didn’t. The 911 call he made to dispatch was played on several news stations, & the dispatcher is plainly heard telling him to stay in his vehicle, UNTIL the police got there. He didn’t obey, but got out, & started following Trayvon, so Trayvon,out of fear, took matters into his own hands, UNLESS the girlfriend’s account is correct. According to her conversation with Trayvon, he asked Zimmerman why he was following him, & Zimmerman attacked him. I heard the recording of that conversation too. The problem here is that people are trying to justify Zimmerman. But, if he hadn’t disobeyed the dispatcher’s order, this tragedy would NOT have happened. And, NO neighborhood watch should EVER go armed, & get out of their vehicle to confront anyone.

        • vanguard7 says:

          And in regard to the audio tapes played on those several so-called news stations, they have since been shown to have been edited and doctored well beyond what would be considered “journalistic integrity”. 

      • vanguard7 says:

        sloop johnb, 

        You need to get your facts straight about the Zimmerman case before commenting.  Zimmerman did NOT provoke the fight.  He (Zimmerman) was blindsided by Martin after Martin had circled around, came up from behind and then sucker-punched Zimmerman in the face.  Zimmerman had the broken nose to substantiate his version of the events that evening.  Martin then got atop Zimmerman and started banging Zimmerman’s head (repeatedly) into the sidewalk.  Again, these facts substantiated by the injuries to the back of Zimmerman’s head, grass stains on the back of Zimmerman’s shirt, as well as testimony from those who witnessed the attack taking place on the ground.  Furthermore, according to Zimmerman, Martin said “you are going to die tonight.”  Now I don’t know about you but, if I have some 6 foot 2 or 4 inch 17 or 18 year old atop of me smashing my head repeatedly against a concrete surface, telling me I was going to die tonight, and the only viable option I had was to shoot the attacker in order to save my life, I would have done the same thing.  It’s called self-defense and a “reasonable” fear for my own life.

        Now let’s not forget a few other aspects of this case.  The lame-stream media portrayed Martin as the victim in this case right from the start.  They portrayed him as some young, early teenaged, kid only half the build and size he actually was (evidenced by the photos they showed of him in their coverage of “THEIR” story).  They failed to reveal his true size and age, they failed to reveal he had already “racked up” a pretty disturbing history of lawlessness and suspensions from school.  They failed to reveal that he had tools associated with breaking and entering on his person that evening.  Alas, if you had gone to Martin’s facebook page (as I did shortly after the story broke), you would have found a stoutly built, almost adult-aged kid flashing vulgar hand gestures in a video of himself while his pants were pulled down almost a foot below his waste exposing practically all of his underwear and acting like a gang-banger wannabe. Nothing at all like the liberal media portrayed him as.  Face it, the kid was a punk and he acted like a punk.

        As for some neighborhood watch member carrying a weapon is concerned.  He (Zimmerman) was advised to get a weapon by the local law enforcement as protection against a menacing/dangerous dog in his neighborhood.  He was asked by the neighborhood to head up a neighborhood watch program because they had been victim to several home burglaries and assaults.  He had reluctanctly taken on the responsibility.  Despite his role as a neighborhood watch Captain he had already demonstrated great compassion and concern for those who had already fallen victim to break-ins in the community by visiting them repeatedly, helping them by installing new locks and security systems for them, and just plain checking in on them to make sure they were okay.  He spotted an unidentified individual that didn’t appear to belong to the neighborhood walking between the houses on a rainy night and so he called the police and planned to maintain a visual on the individual until the police arrived.  In the process they informed him he didn’t need to do that for which he complied and returned to his vehicle.  This is confirmed by the audio tape indicating he was on foot when the call was made.  He was at his vehicle when the assault by Martin occurred.  This fact substantiates that Zimmerman had complied with the 911 operator’s instructions and had returned to his vehicle. 

        Could Zimmerman had done something differently to avoid the outcome of that evening?  Sure!  But you could say that about every instance where the end results are tragic.  One can second-guess every decision he/she makes in hindsight.  Personally, I believe Zimmerman acted well within his purview as a neighborhood watch Captain.  He didn’t go out looking for trouble, he was on his way to the store for some groceries.  On the way there he observed a questionable person late at night and called the authorities to report what he considered a possible threat to the community and acted well within his civil authority while complying with the authorities on the phone.  Zimmerman, obviously, did NOT provoke the confrontation as you assert.  In fact, the details revealed about that evening show just the opposite.  Zimmerman was trying to avoid conflict.  It was Martin who provoked the fight and, as a result, paid the ultimate price for his (Martin’s) actions.  The only real question left, as I see it, is whether the shooting was intentional on Zimmerman’s part in order to defend his life or was the gun shot a result of Martin wrestling to get the gun off of Zimmerman’s body in an attempt to turn it against Zimmerman.  Either way, it was a justified and righteous shooting.

      • Yep, & like I keep saying. IF Zimmerman had stayed in his vehicle, as ordered by the police dispatcher, this would never have happened. And, vanguard7, you are the one who is misinformed. The police wanted to charge Zimmerman the night this happened, but were not allowed to for some reason. When a man with a gun, gets out of his vehicle, & starts following another, he has no intention of not causing trouble. Zimmerman is an arrogant person, & deserves any punishment he gets. If a strange man was following me, at night, without saying anything, I’d have done the same thing, except I’d have grabbed a 2×4 & laid it upside his head. Zimmerman DID provoke the fight, stay in your vehicle when ordered, no fight, get out & start following the person, YOU provoked it.

        • vanguard7 says:

          Boy! Nothing like misconstruing the facts to suit your own desired outcome. We don’t know if Zimmerman had already gotten back into his vehicle. Martin provoked the altercation when he approached Zimmerman while he was outside his vehicle and asked him (Zimmerman) if he had a problem to which the reply was “no.” Martin then (reportedly) said “well you do now!” and with that hit Zimmerman with enough force to break his nose. Common sense dictates that, according to what accounts we have of the situation, Zimmerman never got a chance to get back into his vehicle and they also prove that Zimmerman had been doing as the operator instructed him to do…..i.e. stopped following Martin and to return to his vehicle. It’s people like you who do NOT observe the facts as given and, instead, twist them around and read more into them as presented and end up feeding the frenzy that this whole case is based upon….to make it into a racial issue and to stir up some imaginary prejudice on Zimmerman’s part that was never there. Ever since Zimmerman’s history of working with blacks as well as the fact that his own ethnic background includes being part black came out, the race-baiters like Sharpton, Jackson, Obama, and Holder have had to pull back on their incendiary dialogue because they suddenly realized their argument wasn’t as solid as they expected. I stand by my conviction that Zimmerman was justified whether the discharge of the weapon was intentional or not. Race baiters such as yourself need to start seeing the facts in any controversy for what they are and NOT as you would like them to be. Bottom line is Martin provoked the altercation by approaching Zimmerman and punching him when he (Zimmerman) was not being a threat. And then he continued to beat on Zimmerman and witness testimony (to the best of my knowledge) has not changed in that regard.

        •  First of all a dispatcher cannot ORDER you to stay in your vehicle, they can recommend, suggest as such, second of all your deduction of the evidence leaves a lot to be desired. Zimmerman didnt go hunting for Trayvon, and being a neighborhood watch IS  good reason to carry a firearm.
          Second of all the officer who wanted to arrest Zimmerman WAS acting on suspicion of criminal intent and verification of proper documentation on Zimmerman and weapon, NOT for actual criminal intent. AFTER finding out he owned gun and had proper legality to carry it it was confiscated and he was released on his own recognizance. ONLY a prosecutor can formally charge a person and with out proper legalities the officer could have caused an illegal arrest case.
          As for Martin he was on a cell phone IF he was n ot doing anything illegal, then why didnt he call police and report Zimmerman. No he decided to confront a small person, remember Trayvon Martin was a 6 ft 3in 250lb+/- football player. Zimmerman is 5 ft 9in and much less that Martin. While you can decide his guilt or innocence with out all facts, your alos probably working off of the picture in your mind from his what 8th grade picture posted on news, the one where he looks like he is abour 13 or 14 and not very big. Also the fact is that he was not lily white, he used drugs, ran with gang members and was on juvenile officers watch list of people kn own to hang around criminal types. His parent were trying to get him out of the area where most of his friends were criminals or at least habitual drug users.
          Zimmerman didnt provoke a fight,when Trayvon approached Zimmerman THAT escalated the situation. Zimmerman got beat up by a larger athletic person, and then responded in only way he had when confronting a larger person with greater agility and strength and weight advantage. Ever have a larger person sit on top of you and start hitting you, I have. Without my hand to hand training from martial arts I might have beat him instead of shot him, BUT it depends. After being attacked before I understand desperately looking for a way to STOP it. AND if he was trying to keep Trayvon from acquiring the firearm it could possibly go off. 

        • vanguard7 says:

          You’re making exactly the case I’ve been trying to make.  Some here are trying to make the case that Zimmerman was wrong because he didn’t just walk away.  Well, the fact is, he DID walk away.  It was Trayvon Martin that should’ve walked away but instead he used bad judgement.  Not to mention, if, as his girlfriend said, he was “supposedly” so scared of some guy following him, then why in the world would he NOT try to avoid the guy (the guy being Zimmerman in this case) in the first place? 

  5. el_loco_jp says:

    No comparison.  One shjooting was justified and one was not.  The verdict in one case has already shown that.  The verdict in the other will also.

  6. Washington22 says:

    How can we comment on such vague news?  Details, please……….

  7. Sloop Johnb says:

    Good call.  This guy went after the other guy with a gun.  If he would have stayed home and not gone looking for trouble (noisy neighbors ARE a pain) this wouldn’t have happened.

    OTOH, 40 years is too long.  20 is more like it.

  8. vanguard7 says:

    This case is/was day and night difference from the Zimmerman case.  The jurors got it right in this one.  Zimmerman on the other hand was totally justified in using deadly force to save his own life.  From all accounts made public in Zimmerman’s case, he had no choice.  Martin had told him he was going to “die that night”, he was atop of Zimmerman smashing his head into the concrete, and accounts of the incident indicate that Martin detected the weapon on Zimmerman after he was atop of Zimmerman and then tried to get it away from him.  Whether the weapon went off as a result a struggle over control of it or Zimmerman used it to stop from being further beaten, the correct person died that night provided someone had to die.  I truly believe Martin circled around and blindsided Zimmerman and was the initiator in the attack.  And eyewitness accounts are consistent with Zimmerman’s statements about what happened as well as the injuries he received as a result.  I can only hope he is acquitted in this one.

    • No, Zimmerman was NOT justified. IF he had stayed in his vehicle, as ordered by the police dispatcher, this would NOT have happened. In essence, ZIMMERMAN caused the problem, then settled it by using his gun. And, almost every witness has changed their stories. And, if Zimmerman is acquitted, then justice has not been served. 2nd degree murder is a bit too strong of a charge, but accidental homicide, or any of the lesser charges is warranted. If Martin had dragged him out of his vehicle, it would have been one thing, but Zimmerman got out, & started following Trayvon, not the other way around. If I was out walking at night, & a strange man was following me, without any good reason, I’d have done the same thing that Trayvon did.

      • vanguard7 says:

        Boy!  Nothing like misconstruing the facts to suit your own desired outcome.  We don’t know if Zimmerman had already gotten back into his vehicle.  Martin provoked the altercation when he approached Zimmerman while he was outside his vehicle and asked him (Zimmerman) if he had a problem to which the reply was “no.”  Martin then (reportedly) said “well you do now!” and with that hit Zimmerman with enough force to break his nose.  Common sense dictates that, according to what accounts we have of the situation, Zimmerman never got a chance to get back into his vehicle and they also prove that Zimmerman had been doing as the operator instructed him to do…..i.e. stopped following Martin and to return to his vehicle.  It’s people like you who do NOT observe the facts as given and, instead, twist them around and read more into them as presented and end up feeding the frenzy that this whole case is based upon….to make it into a racial issue and to stir up some imaginary prejudice on Zimmerman’s part that was never there.  Ever since Zimmerman’s history of working with blacks as well as the fact that his own ethnic background includes being part black came out, the race-baiters like Sharpton, Jackson, Obama, and Holder have had to pull back on their incendiary dialogue because they suddenly realized their argument wasn’t as solid as they expected.  I stand by my conviction that Zimmerman was justified whether the discharge of the weapon was intentional or not.  Race baiters such as yourself need to start seeing the facts in any controversy for what they are and NOT as you would like them to be.  Bottom line is Martin provoked the altercation by approaching Zimmerman and punching him when he (Zimmerman) was not being a threat.  And then he continued to beat on Zimmerman and witness testimony (to the best of my knowledge) has not changed in that regard.

      • Tionico says:

         No police ORDERED zimmerman to stay in his vehicle.. a dispatcher, with no force of law, told ZImerman he “didn’t need to do that”.. at which point he left off following ZImmerman and returned to his truck to await the cops now on their way.  Martin was a HUGE and strong kid, came from out of nowhere, jumped ZImmerman and knocked him down, then proceeded to smash Zimmerman’s head into the concrete while sitting astraddle of him. Zimmerman WAS retreating, it was Martin attacked. Zimmerman was forced to either kill or be killed, especially when Martin noticed his handgun and set about trying to gain control of it, saying he would kill ZImmerman with it. Please note: had ZImmerman intended to kill Martin, he could have taken his handgun out and shot him from a safe distance when Martin was skulking about in the yard of a home where he had no business being.

      • twocolts says:

         Spoken like a true media-brainwashed and narrow-minded person. Zimmerman was hired to watch for suspicious activity,the “good reason”you are conveniently forgetting is the recent upsurge in break-ins and robbery in the exact neigborhood, and innocent little boy Trayvon was hoodied and acting like a guilty person. Just because Zimmerman didn’t turn the other cheek and forget he seen the six-foot-plus teen, and got out of his car, was not justification for getting his head bashed, nose broken, and having to fight to keep the weapon from the hands of someone saying he was about to die. You, the biased media and the loudmouthed and racist black-lobby had Zimmerman tried, convicted, and sentenced immediately. The only thing wrong with you is that you have not been raped, robbed or mugged. True justice may be right around the corner for you.

  9. Raul and kelly? Sounds like Zimmerman and Martin. What’s up with these stand your ground cow pokes? Are they just stupid or don’t like Americans.

  10. Joyceann says:

    He took his gun from his property to the property of an unarmed man and shot him.  There is no stand your ground position here.  God grants us right to defend ourselves and our property but not to get pissed and go shoot somebody.  Where is the “fear of my life” on his own property or the property of another in defending himself.  The only agression to life was his…and each case is judged on its own, not in relation to any other case.   

  11. RobertNorwood says:

    Part of the reason we have to fight so hard against the anti-gun lobby is that idiots like this give them so much ammunition. I’ve always believed you should have to pass a certain level of IQ in order to vote and now I think they should test your brain before giving you a permit.
    Christ, what are guns doing in the hands of yah-hooz like this.

  12. Conservative says:

    I train people for concealed carry.  It is of upmost concearn to inform people of their right of self defense.  I also am very adiment in telling people they must tone it down.  You do not have a right ti instigate a situation, then claim self defense.  Forty years is a just punishment for anyone who acts irresponsibly and starts a fight, then shoot someone and claim self defense.  I have been a member of The National Rifle Association all my adult life and support human rights and the second ammendment rights of all law abiding citizens.  I, in no way will support any idiot wanting to play Rambo and go out instigating. 

    • vanguard7 says:

      Well stated.  I knew from the moment I read about the details of this case, followed by watching the video, that this guy was going to be toast.  He had no business going over there with “gun in hand” (and I stress the “in hand” part) to confront these individuals.  It’s one thing to be armed.  It’s a totally different thing to have your weapon in hand as you approach someone with whom you have a disagreement with.  I have carry permits for both Minnesota and Utah and, although the laws are different here in Mn compared to Texas, I like to believe I know what is responsible and reasonable behavior.  If it had been me, I simply would have called the police while staying home.  Only to come out if/when the police came to my house to get my statement, etc.

    • Brad Nova says:

      When I took my conceal and carry class, about half of the classroom time was spent on what to tell the police if you shoot someone.

  13. sean murry. says:

    i think this is away to get our guns.

    • Conservative says:

      Yes, if people keep acting like Raul Rodriguez, we will loose our right.  We as law abiding citizens must do our part and educate people on the right of self defense.  Mr. Rodrihuez was not standing his ground.  Instead he was trespasing on someone elses property and initiating violence.  He left his house with the intent to start something, which he did do.  No responsible gun owner in the US will support his actions.

  14. BigC says:

    I am pro CCW and 2nd amendment; I’m also in full agreement on the punishment for this idiot, thinking this was a “stand your ground” instance, in fact, the sentence MAY be a little light!

  15. Well, the legal system DOES work, some of the time! If someone breaks into your home, or starts at you with a bat, or knife, or other weapon in their hand, then stand your ground is a legitimate defense. In Zimmerman’s case, it is not valid. If he had stayed in his vehicle as told by the POLICE dispatcher, that tragedy would not have happened. Unless you can PROVE you were being physically threatened, that law should not be used. 

    • GramSam says:

      What happened to innocent until proven guilty.  Do you have evidence the rest of us are not priviledged too?   Please let this case be trialed before we pass judgement.

    • Conservative says:

      Duh, this is not about George Zimmerman shooting Travon Martin.  This is the case of Raul Rodrrguez shooting someone on their own property.