Kelsey Ann Sparnon
Age at time: 20
Nicholas David Bowers
Age at time: 24
Location details: In the defendant's home shared by victim in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, on Feb. 16, 2011
What happened: Nicholas David Bowers argued that he was protecting himself and his home from an intruder when his female roommate unexpectedly crawled through a window in the dark. He said he stopped choking her when he realized who it was and only knocked her to the ground when she hit him. But the roommate and her friends say Bowers purposefully locked them out after an argument and refused to open the door even though he knew it was his roommate. Bowers was arrested on simple battery charges.
The outcome: Bowers filed a motion for immunity based on "stand your ground" but it was denied by the judge. Bowers then changed his plea to no contest and adjudication was withheld, meaning there will be no conviction recorded if Bowers meets certain requirements.
Investigating agency: St. Petersburg Police
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.
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: Pinellas County Clerk of Court case progress docket, Feb. 17, 2011.
Source: Sixth Judicial Circuit Court, Pinellas County, June 24, 2011.
Source: St. Petersburg Police Department, Feb. 16, 2011.
Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013