MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida International University student Quentin Wyche will stand trial for the stabbing death of FIU football running back Kendall Berry after a judge refused to dismiss the case Thursday, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.
Wyche had asked for the case to be dismissed under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law enacted in 2005 by then-Governor Jeb Bush.
Wyche’s attorney had claimed his client was defending himself during a fight with Berry.
Miami-Dade Judge Milton Hirsch said Thursday that Wyche failed to show that he had reason to believe his life was in danger when he stabbed Berry and therefore the Stand Your Ground law doesn’t apply to the case, according to the Herald.
The defense’s witnesses testified that Berry picked the fight with Wyche outside the school’s recreation center in March of 2010, with more than a dozen of Berry’s buddies and fellow football players backing him up.
“(Berry) was walking toward (Wyche), squaring up, getting ready to fight…(Berry) was saying ‘oh you did something to my girl,’” witness Garett Cottom told the court.
Both witnesses testified that at first, Wyche ran away from Berry and his friends.
“When I looked back, ‘Q’ was running toward the rec to the doors we came out from with a group of guys chasing him,” testified Anthony Cooper.
Attorney David Peckins says Berry’s death was unintentional.
“He just happened to thrust himself against the scissor that the defendant had taken out apparently from his book bag when he was being chased down by this football team,” Peckins told CBS4 in January.
Prosecutors maintained Wyche intended to kill Berry, and that the judge should move forward with trial.
“This is murder. This is pure and simple murder….This is someone who brought a knife to a fist fight, and someone is dead because of it,” said prosecutor Abbe Rifkin.