Victim: Nicholas Nigel Barter (killed)
The accused: Steven Anthony Thompson

Nicholas Nigel_Barter

Nicholas Nigel Barter

White male

Age at time: 27

Weapon: unarmed


Steven Anthony Thompson

White male

Age at time: 28

Weapon: gun


Defendant photo: Panama City News Herald

Case type:
Argument turned violent

Motel Room 216



Case year:

Location details: Summer Breeze Motel in Panama City Beach, Bay County, on July 17, 2009

What happened: Steven Thompson & Nicholas Barter were at the Summer Breeze Motel while staying in Panama City Beach for work. They got into an argument in their room that escalated. They were fighting for several minutes when Thompson subdued Barter by pinning him to the floor by his throat. He testified that he retreated to the corner of the room but Barter got up and charged at him. Thompson said he was afraid he would be beaten to death when he grabbed his 9mm Berretta and fired two shots into Barter's chest.

The outcome: Thompson's defense attorney filed a "stand your ground" motion which a judge denied. Thompson was acquitted by a jury at his trial in February of 2011.

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: Panama City News Herald, Feb. 1, 2011. Link to original source

Source: Panama City News Herald, Feb. 4, 2011. Link to original source

Source: Panama City News Herald, Feb. 13, 2011. Link to original source

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013