Victim: Larenta Deshawn Dawkins
The accused: Andrae Everton Absalom


Larenta Deshawn Dawkins

Black male

Age at time: 24

Weapon: unarmed

Victim photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office


Andrae Everton Absalom

Black male

Age at time: 26

Weapon: hammer

Defendant photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Case type:
Roommate dispute

Defendant's Home



Case year:

Location details: Home of victim and defendant in Tampa, Hillsborough County, on Nov. 16, 2011

What happened: The suspect, Andrae Absalom, and the victim, Larenta Dawkins, were roommates who had been quarreling over the past week, with Absalom accusing Deshawn of selling marijuana. Dawkins arrived at the house one afternoon to find that the deadbolt lock had been changed. He went in through a back door, at which point Absalom came out of the bedroom and, Dawkins said, hit him with a hammer, opening a large cut on his head. Absalom said Dawkins struck him first, in the mouth with a closed fist. Abaslom, who then fled the house, said he acted in self-defense.

The outcome: Absalom was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon but judge granted "stand your ground" motion.

Investigating agency: Tampa 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.

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: Hillsborough County Clerk of Court, Nov. 16, 2011.

Source: Tampa Police Department, Nov. 16, 2011.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013