By Alexis Sykes

On June 12, 2023, John Thigpen was arrested for second-degree murder in Clay County after calling the police when he killed his friend during a dispute.  While the Victim was shot multiple times, according to news reports, Thigpen also had injuries to his face and one of his hands. Thigpen’s injuries will likely make this a case of self-defense under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.  The Stand Your Ground law allows a person to use deadly force if they are in reasonable fear of great bodily harm or death.  A person is not required to retreat under Florida’s law and may “stand their ground” and meet force with reasonable force.

John Thigpen arrested 2nd degree murder clay

However, the amount of force used must be justifiable and not excessive under the circumstances.  With Thigpen only having minor injuries, he may struggle with explaining why he needed to use a firearm in a possible fist fight but there may be other factors to consider in his defense such as the size of the alleged victim and whether the victim was armed with a weapon.

If Thigpen files a Motion to Dismiss based on Stand Your Ground, he could be entitled to immunity from prosecution if successful in Court and have his charges dismissed by a judge or jury.  If a jury finds that he did have somewhat of a self-defense claim but the use of force was excessive, he may still benefit from a finding of a lesser charge such as manslaughter.

If you or a loved one need the assistance of one of our Criminal Defense Attorneys, don’t hesitate to call us at 352-WIN-4YOU We are available 24/7 and we offer payment plans.