Victim: Ernest Lamar (killed)
The accused: Laurie Lynn Bartlett


Ernest Lamar

White male

Age at time: 47

Weapon: unarmed


Laurie Lynn Bartlett

White female

Age at time: 37

Weapon: knife


Defendant photo: Florida Department of Corrections

Case type:
Domestic dispute

Defendant's Home (Shared With Victim)



Case year:

Location details: Fountain in Fountain, Bay County, on July 01, 2006

What happened: In Feb. 2007, Laurie Lynn Bartlett was convicted of manslaughter for stabbing to death her live-in boyfriend with a knife at their trailer. She ultimately claimed she was defending herself from a drunken man trying to force himself on her, but only after first telling police Ernest Lamar had fallen on a knife accidentally. Evidence at the trial was not clear-cut. An expert testified that some forensic evidence suggested the woman had prodded or teased her boyfriend before stabbing him. Other evidence supported her claim that he lunged at her.

The outcome: She was originally sentenced to 10 years in prison. The 1st District Court of Appeal reversed the sentence and ordered a new trial in October 2008, when she was again found guilty and sentenced to 10 years. She has served about five years and a petition to reduce her sentence was denied in Feb. 2012. Bartlett is in Hillsborough Correctional Institution.

Investigating agency: Bay 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/

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: First District Court of Appeal, Oct. 29, 2008.

Source: Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Court, Bay County, Feb. 3, 2012.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013