Victim: Devin Lively (killed)
The accused: Willard "Joey" McCullen Jr.

Lively

Devin Lively

White male

Age at time: 21

Weapon: unarmed

Victim photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

 
McCullen

Willard "Joey" McCullen Jr.

White male

Age at time: 22

Weapon: gun

gun

Defendant photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, 2007

Case type:
Dispute over money/property

Location:
Mobile Home Park

Initiator:
Unclear

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2008

Location details: Near the shooter's mobile home at 8401 Bowles Road in Thonotosassa, Hillsborough County, on March 29, 2008

What happened: Willard J. McCullen shot his cousin after a dispute over $60. According to the victim's mother, McCullen shot him in the back and then again in the chest when he turned around. McCullen told investigators he was an NRA member and knew he had a right to shoot.

The outcome: Judge denied motion; McCullen was convicted of second-degree murder at trial and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Investigating agency: Hillsborough County Sheriff

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: Tampa Bay Times, March 30, 2008.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, Oct. 17, 2010.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013