Victim: Walter J.J. Revear (killed)
The accused: Jimmy Lee Cruz

Revear

Walter J.J. Revear

Black male

Age at time: 28

Weapon: unarmed

Victim photo: Florida Department of Corrections

 
Jimmy Lee_Cruz

Jimmy Lee Cruz

Black male

Age at time: 34

Weapon: gun

gun

unharmed

Case type:
Party/Bar Fight

Location:
Business

Initiator:
Unclear

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2011

Location details: outside the Interstate Lounge in Tampa, Hillsborough County, on May 17, 2011

What happened: A fight between dozens of people broke out outside the Interstate Lounge on the night of May 17, 2011. Several women threatened to use mace and a stun gun on Jimmy Lee Cruz and he threw a drink into the crowd. J.J. Revear reacted by punching Cruz' brother, Mike, and he continued to beat him when he fell to the ground. Cruz came to his brother's defense with a gun and shot Revear in the temple. The Cruz brothers and a friend fled in their car. J.J. Revear was the poster boy for a flawed juvenile justice system in the mid 1990's. He had been given breaks, had landed in jail and in a mental institution.

The outcome: Cruz turned himself in the following evening and he was charged with second-degree murder. His attorney filed a Stand Your Ground motion for immunity. He said his client had the right to defend himself or another person if he was in "reasonable" fear of imminent death or great bodily harm. The Assistant State Attorney said "The defendant brought a gun to a fist fight." Hillsborough Circuit Judge Ronald Ficarrotta's stated: "The court finds that the defendant's use of deadly force was excessive when compared to the type of force to which he was responding, which was, according to all available testimony, only the use of hands." On March 22, 2013, Cruz changed his plea to guilty on the lesser charge of manslaughter with a weapon and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

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/
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: Tampa Bay Times, June 19, 2011. Link to original source

Source: Tampa Bay Times, June 30, 2012. Link to original source

Source: Tampa Bay Times, July 12, 2012. Link to original source

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013