Victim: Derek Huffman (killed)
The accused: Shawn Harshall


Derek Huffman

White male

Age at time: 22

Weapon: unarmed


Shawn Harshall

White male

Age at time: 24

Weapon: knife


Case type:
Argument turned violent

Other Private Property



Case year:

Location details: In a Suburban Lodge hotel room after an argument in a bar in Stuart, Martin County, on Jan. 14, 2006

What happened: Shawn Harshall and Derek Huffman argued over a pool game inside Hemingway's bar and later in the parking lot. Witnesses said Harshall tried to walk away from the fight, but Huffman wouldn't let it go. No one was around to see what happened, however, when the two men retired to the extended-stay hotel room they were sharing and Harshall stabbed Huffman to death. Harshall told police the other man threatened to kill him and threw him on the bed. So he grabbed a knife and stabbed Huffman. Harshall fled the scene but later turned himself in. The two men did not know each other well and were sharing a room while working a construction job. Huffman was unarmed.

The outcome: No charges were filed by police. The detective investigating the January 2006 case told reporters, "You have to look at the new law ("stand your ground") about protecting yourself in your home."

Investigating agency: Stuart Police

Case decision made by: Police

Trayvon Martin’s death became controversial because circumstances leading up to the shooting cast doubt on who was to blame. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed other “stand your ground” cases for similar circumstances. The Times relied on available information, some of which may not tell the whole story. When the situation was unclear, that was noted.

Yes No Unclear/

Did the victim initiate the confrontation?


Was the victim armed?


Was the victim committing a crime that led to the confrontation?


Did the defendant pursue the victim?


Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?


Was the defendant on his or her property?


Did someone witness the attack?


Was there physical evidence?


Source: Stuart News, April 13, 2006.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013