Victim: Curtis Miller (killed)
The accused: Earl Jackson, Dervaunta Vaughn

Curtis_Miller

Curtis Miller

Black male

Age at time: 26

Weapon: unarmed

 
Jackson

Earl Jackson

Black male

Age at time: 20

Weapon: gun

gun

Defendant photo: Leon County Sheriff's Office, 2012

Vaughn

Dervaunta Vaughn

Black male

Age at time: 26

Weapon: gun

gun

Defendant photo: Leon County Sheriff's Office, 2012

Case type:
Gang shootout

Location:
Public

Initiator:
Unclear

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2009

Location details: In the parking lot of a Circle K in Tallahassee, Leon County, on March 29, 2009

What happened: Four men, including Earl Jackson and Dervaunta Vaughn, were charged with murder after what investigators called a gang shootout left a bystander dead in a gas station parking lot. Jackson and Vaughn argued they were defending their lives from the other shooters.

The outcome: Both men had prior convictions that prevented them from carrying a firearm. Leon County Judge Josefina Tomayo denied Jackson's stand your ground motion. In Oct. 2011, a jury found Jackson not guilty of murder but convicted him on gun possession charges. He was sentenced to 20 years. Tomayo also denied Vaughn's motion because he was a convicted felon illegally in possession of a firearm. However, he became a state's witness against Jackson and pleaded to the lesser charges of felon with a gun and was sentenced to 8 years in prison, according to his attorney, Chuck Hobbs. Despite the judge's ruling, Hobbs says, "For a defense attorney, it (stand your ground) is an excellent tool. Even if your client is not found legal under stand your ground, it helps you flesh out the issues as the case proceeds to trial.'' Because it requires an early hearing, "it's an opportunity to push forward with that position while also forcing the state to show their hand.''

Investigating agency: Tallahassee Police

Case decision made by: Jury

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/
disputed

Did the victim initiate the confrontation?

Check

Was the victim armed?

Check

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

Check

Did the defendant pursue the victim?

Check

Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?

Check

Was the defendant on his or her property?

Check

Did someone witness the attack?

Check

Was there physical evidence?

Check

Source: Tallahassee Democrat, April 2, 2011.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013