Victim: Seth Sigmon (killed)
The accused: John Croft

Seth_Sigmon

Seth Sigmon

White male

Age at time: 29

Weapon: unarmed

 
Croft

John Croft

White male

Age at time: 81

Weapon: gun

gun

Defendant photo: Pasco County Sheriff's Office, 2009

Case type:
Neighborhood dispute

Location:
Public

Initiator:
Unclear

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2009

Location details: In a neighborhood communal area near the shooter's property in Shady Hills, Pasco County, on April 25, 2009

What happened: Seth Sigmon, 29, and John Croft, 81, lived next to each other in Shady Hills. They didn't get along. Croft had claimed previously that Sigmon's dog got loose and killed his pet goats. On the day of the shooting, Croft complained that Sigmon's 9-year-old son was playing too close to the property line. When Sigmon confronted Croft, Croft, who was standing outside his fenced-in yard, drew a .22-caliber handgun. "Are you going to shoot me?" asked Sigmon, who weighed 250 pounds. Croft did. Sigmon fell to one knee and Croft fired at least two more times while Sigmon was on the ground, the sheriff's report said. Bullets struck Sigmon in the chest and back. After his arrest, Croft told deputies he pulled the gun out after his neighbor nudged him and cursed at him. Croft, 100 pounds lighter than Sigmon, told deputies he shot Sigmon because he was "angry and scared."

The outcome: Croft was arrested on a manslaughter charge immediately after the 2009 incident. At trial the defense argued it could have been a case of "stand your ground" and that Croft had the right to defend himself. The jury convicted Croft of manslaughter on May 24, 2012.

Investigating agency: Pasco County Sheriff

Case decision made by: Pending

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: Pasco Circuit Court, April 25, 2009.

Source: Pasco County Sheriff's Office report, April 25, 2009.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, May 25, 2012. Link to original source

Source: Tampa Tribune, April 29, 2009.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013