Victim: Steven Hilson Jr. (killed)
The accused: Russell Conrad

Steven_Hilson

Steven Hilson Jr.

White male

Age at time: 32

Weapon: unarmed

 
Russell_Conrad

Russell Conrad

White male

Age at time: 70

Weapon: gun

gun

Case type:
Attempted theft from car

Location:
Defendant's Property

Initiator:
Victim

Witnesses:
No

Case year:
2009

Location details: In the driveway of the defendant's home on County Road 561 in Tavares, Lake County, on Nov. 28, 2009

What happened: Russell Conrad woke up at about 4:30 a.m. when he heard the horn blow from his Toyota pickup parked outside his home. He grabbed his revolver and stepped outside, where he saw Steven Hilson Jr. looking through the glove box. He ordered the trespasser to get out and fired three shots into the driveway. When Hilson got out of the truck, Conrad said, he ignored an order to stop and approached him. Conrad, who was 70 at the time, has emphysema, limited use of his arms and needs oxygen. He argued he had no choice but to fire the gun. The unarmed Hilson died even though Conrad administered first aid. The victim was described by friends as a severe alcoholic. His family theorized he might have been confused and gone to the wrong house while looking for a friend. "If Conrad reasonably believed he had to shoot Hilson to prevent the imminent infliction of great bodily harm or death to himself, he cannot be prosecuted," Assistant State Attorney Gross wrote at the time.

The outcome: No charges

Investigating agency: Lake County Sheriff

Case decision made by: Prosecutor

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: Orlando Sentinel, June 5, 2010.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013