Victim: Robert Carroll
The accused: David J. Heckman


Robert Carroll

White male

Age at time: 36

Weapon: flagpole

Victim photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office


David J. Heckman

White male

Age at time: 61

Weapon: gun


Defendant photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Case type:
Domestic dispute

Defendant's Property



Case year:

Location details: On the defendant's property, 3802 Castle Key Lane, Valrico. in Valrico, Hillsborough County, on Nov. 06, 2005

What happened: David Heckman shot the father of his fiancee's children in the thigh after a fight over child visitation. During the argument, the two men damaged each other's cars. Heckman said he only shot at the other man after he picked up a flag pole, began beating his car and then made an aggressive move. That's when Heckman says he fired two shots toward the ground and one ricocheted into the man's leg. The victim argued that he was leaving when Heckman shot him in the leg.

The outcome: Heckman was originally charged with attempted murder, but charges were reduced to aggravated battery. In December 2006, Circuit Court Judge Wayne Timmerman dropped aggravated battery with deadly weapon charge. The judge determined Heckman was justified in shooting. The 2nd DCA reversed that decision and sent the case back for trial. Jury acquitted in May 2008.

Investigating agency: Hillsborough County Sheriff

Case decision made by: Judge

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: Tampa Tribune, May 16, 2008.

Source: Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court, Hillsborough County, Dec. 7, 2007.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013