Fatal shootings during illegal eviction are justifiableThe fatal shootings of two armed men who forced their way into a home to evict the tenant have been ruled justifiable self-defense.
The men -- armed with a gun, a knife and a bicycle chain -- were trying to evict Melvin Wilcox from his Jacksonville home but weren’t willing to wait for the police.
“It was not a legal eviction,” said Assistant State Attorney Alan Mizrahi. “You can’t evict someone without a police officer.”
Florida statutes prohibit so-called “self-help” evictions. Read the law here.
State Attorney Harry Shorstein has formally ruled out filing charges against Wilcox, saying he had the right to use deadly force to defend himself and his home.
Florida legislators expanded the justifiable homicide law last session, but Shorstein said Wilcox’s case would be self-defense even under the old law.
Read The Florida Times-Union stories here and here.
Thanks to April Charney of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid for the heads-up.