Victim: Matthew Alcott
The accused: John David Falwell

Alcott

Matthew Alcott

White male

Age at time: 26

Weapon: unarmed

Victim photo: Volusia County Sheriff's Office, 2010

 
Falwell

John David Falwell

White male

Age at time: 37

Weapon: knife

knife

Defendant photo: Volusia County Sheriff's Office, 2009

Case type:
Argument turned violent

Location:
Other Private Property

Initiator:
Unclear

Witnesses:
No

Case year:
2009

Location details: A hotel room in Daytona Beach, Volusia County, on Oct. 27, 2009

What happened: John David Falwell got into a fight with a man visiting his hotel room. He said the man, 4 inches taller and much heavier than him, slammed him to the floor and knocked him out. He said he came to a few moments later and continued the struggle until he grabbed a knife and "just swung." Matthew Alcott was wounded and prosecutors filed attempted murder charges. Alcott was stabbed in the back.

The outcome: Prosecutors charged Falwell with attempted murder and a judge denied his request for immunity under "stand your ground." A jury ultimately found him guilty of aggravated battery, a lesser charge, and a judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison in June 2010. The stiff penalty came, in part, because he had previously served time in prison, the Daytona Beach News Journal reported at the time.

Investigating agency: Daytona Beach 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/
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: Daytona Beach News Journal, April 2, 2010.

Source: Daytona Beach News Journal, June 4, 2010.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013