Victim: Darren Lopaciuk
The accused: Charles Regan Markham

Darren_Lopaciuk

Darren Lopaciuk

White male

Age at time: 46

Weapon: unarmed

 
Markham

Charles Regan Markham

White male

Age at time: 53

Weapon: gun

gun

Defendant photo: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Case type:
Argument turned violent

Location:
Public

Initiator:
Victim

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2007

Location details: Raquetball court at Vanech Park in Dunedin, Pinellas County, on Nov. 22, 2007

What happened: Charles Markham was playing racquetball with his children on Thanksgiving Day when he had a confrontation with another father and pulled out his gun. Markham and the other father, Darren J. Lopaciuk, disagree about how the argument started and whether Markham pointed his gun at the ground or at Lopaciuk. Markham also said the other father threatened to "beat the hell" out of him, which Lopaciuk disputed. Lopaciuk was 8 inches taller and 40 pounds heavier than Markham.

The outcome: A judge dismissed the aggravated assault charge after agreeing that Markham was within his rights to brandish a gun to protect himself.

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/
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: Pinellas County Circuit Court order of dismissal, Dec. 31, 2008.

Source: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office charge report, None.

Source: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office report, Nov. 22, 2007.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013