FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) – A hearing in Ft. Lauderdale court will determine if a suspended Broward Sheriff’s deputy can claim his shooting a man armed with an air rifle was self defense.
Deputy Peter Peraza is charged with manslaughter in the fatal 2013 shooting of 33-year-old Jermaine McBean.
Peraza’s attorney wants to invoke the “Stand Your Ground” law which states a person has no duty to retreat in the face of a potentially lethal threat.
The 37-year-old Peraza faces up to 30 years if convicted. If his motion prevails, there will be no trial and the manslaughter charge will be dismissed.
A manager at the pawn shop where McBean bought the air rifle said he originally wanted to buy a shotgun, but the pawn shop doesn’t sell them. The manager described McBean’s demeanor as “hyper.” The manager says he put the air rifle in a plastic bag.
As McBean walked home, a hospital employee saw him walking with the air rifle in his hand. She thought the gun was real and called 911.
Once McBean got home to the Green Tree apartments in Oakland Park, a woman with her kids in the complex pool said she saw him and that “…he looked to me to be either a crazy person or he was high. That’s what I took from the way he was walking, the way he was carrying self.”
That mother said she saw deputies order McBean to put down the air rifle several times, but he didn’t. That’s when Peraza opened fire.
McBean’s family claims he posed no danger and could not hear commands to drop the air rifle because he was listening to music with earbuds.
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