FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CBSMiami/AP) — The lawyer for a Florida deputy accused of shooting and killing a man carrying an air rifle wants access to his mental health records.READ MORE: Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Targeting Fentanyl, Meth Dealers
A hearing is set Thursday in Broward County Circuit Court on the records issue. Deputy Peter Peraza’s attorney says in court papers that 33-year-old Jermaine McBean had chronic mental problems that could have played a role in his 2013 shooting death.
McBean was fatally shot by the 37-year-old Peraza while carrying the real-looking air rifle across his shoulders at a crowded Oakland Park apartment complex. McBean’s family says he didn’t hear police commands to drop the weapon because he was listening to music through earbuds.
Last week, the attorney representing Peraza filed court papers using Florida’s Stand Your Ground law as a reason to dismiss the case. Stand your ground allows deadly force when there is an imminent threat.READ MORE: Affordable Housing Art Deco Style In Little Havana
Attorney Eric Schwartzreich said, “It is a vehicle, another way for the judge to look at the case and dismiss this case because he’s immune from prosecution. My client thought there was a mass murderer at the swimming pool.”
Schwartzreich has also filed papers alleging there may have been bias in the grand jury pool that indicted Peraza on a mansalughter charge.
Peraza faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
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