Victim: Jason Bradley Payne (killed)
The accused: William T. Wilkerson Jr.


Jason Bradley Payne

White male

Age at time: 22

Weapon: unarmed

Victim photo: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office


William T. Wilkerson Jr.

White male

Age at time: 19

Weapon: gun


Defendant photo: Florida Department of Corrections

Case type:
Fight at bar/party

In Defendant's Car



Case year:

Location details: Driveway during a party in Wellington, Palm Beach County, on Nov. 22, 2007

What happened: Jason Payne, 22, drunk and angry at another man for flirting with his girlfriend, ordered him to leave a birthday party. As he left, witnesses said, William T. Wilkerson flashed a gun and threatened to kill Payne. Payne followed him to his truck and punched out Wilkerson's truck window, prompting Wilkerson to fire his handgun three times. Two shots to the chest killed the unarmed Payne. Wilkerson drove away but was quickly stopped by an officer who happened to be nearby.

The outcome: Prosecutors went forward with murder charges, but a jury sided with Wilkerson's "stand your ground" defense and found him not guilty of murder. They convicted him of a less serious charge, discharging a firearm from a vehicle, for which a judge ordered him to serve four years. Wilkerson had already spent two years in prison while his case moved through the system.

Investigating agency: Wellington 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/

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: Palm Beach Post, Feb. 24, 2010.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013