Victim: Justin Holliman (killed)
The accused: Russell Brightman


Justin Holliman

Black male

Age at time: 18

Weapon: torque wrench


Russell Brightman

Black male

Age at time: 39

Weapon: gun


Case type:
Home invasion

Defendant's Property



Case year:

Location details: Outside the defendant's home in Jacksonville, Duval County, on Oct. 30, 2010

What happened: Russell Brightman was home alone taking a shower about 9:30 p.m. when he heard a loud thump and his burglar alarm went off. Hearing footsteps race up to his second floor, Brightman called his wife, who had been babysitting, on her cell phone to make sure she hadn't come home. When she said she had not, he got dressed, went to his car in the garage to retrieve his gun, then turned on the outside lights and opened his garage door. His wife, meanwhile, called the police. As Brightman was standing in front of his garage, he saw two males running out his front door. Brightman told police he began shooting and one of the suspects fell down in the middle of the road in front of his house. Brightman then waited for police to arrive. Justin Holliman, 18, died at the scene. The other burglars were never found.

The outcome: Brightman was not charged. The state attorney signed a "Justifiable use of deadly force by a citizen" letter, according to police records.

Investigating agency: Jacksonville Sheriff

Case decision made by: Prosecutor

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: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Oct. 30, 2010.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013