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Testimony Continues In Stand Your Ground Hearing For Fatal Pines Shooting

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James Wonder, 70, hopes the state's Stand Your Ground law applied when he fatally shot Donald Pettit in August 2008. (CBS4)

James Wonder, 70, hopes the state’s Stand Your Ground law applied when he fatally shot Donald Pettit in August 2008. (CBS4)

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South Florida Crime

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Testimony continued in a Broward County courtroom Thursday as a man accused of gunning down an off-duty federal agent in 2008 tries to convince a judge he did it in self defense.

Donald Pettit’s daughter’s taped deposition was presented in the Stand Your Ground hearing today.  Gabriella who was 12 years old at the time her father was fatally shot was with him with the tragedy occurred.

“He was taking me to camp,” said Gabriella in her deposition.

On August 5, 2008, James Wonder who is now 69, was arrested and charged with killing Border Protection Agent Donald Pettit.

Gabriella was in the car and described to attorneys what she saw.

“I got out of the car walked around and saw my father he was bleeding from his head,” said Gabriella.

The attorney asked her if he said anything to her and she said no.

“I picked up my cell phone and called my mother,” said Gabriella.

In court, tears rolled down Ileana Pettit’s face as she heard her daughter described what happened to her husband the day he was shot in a Pembroke Pines post office parking lot.

According to investigators, Pettit followed Wonder into the parking lot after the two exchanged obscene gestures on the road.

The attorney said, “After he passed the old man just as he was going passed him your dad showed him his middle finger?”

Gabriella replied, “Yes”.

Wonder’s lawyer’s are trying to prove to a judge that he killed Pettit in self defense, resting on Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law which says someone may meet force with force if they are in fear of their life.  It’s the same argument George Zimmerman is using for killing Trayvon Martin.

James Wonder who is out on bond is expected to take the stand in the coming days, the hearing should last about a week and in the end the judge will decide whether to set Wonder free or stand trial for manslaughter.

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