Victim: Joshua Jay Sands (killed)
The accused: Reginald Etienne

Sands

Joshua Jay Sands

White male

Age at time: 35

Weapon: unarmed

Victim photo: Lee County Sheriff's Office, 2009

 
Etienne

Reginald Etienne

Black male

Age at time: 31

Weapon: knife

knife

Defendant photo: Lee County Sheriff's Office, 2010

Case type:
Fight at bar/party

Location:
Public

Initiator:
Defendant

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2010

Location details: Public in Fort Myers, Lee County, on Jan. 01, 2010

What happened: Reginald Etienne stabbed a 35-year-old man to death at a New Year's party then argued he was defending himself against a bigger man. Prosecutors pursued second-degree murder charges after showing Etienne had argued with Joshua Sands, then left the party and returned with the knife he used to stab him.

The outcome: Lee County Circuit Judge Ramiro Manalich denied Etienne's motion for immunity. A jury found him guilty of second-degree murder.

Investigating agency: Fort Myers 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: Fort Myers News-Press, March 22, 2011. Link to original source

Source: Fort Myers News-Press, April 8, 2011.

Source: Lee County Clerk of Court, Jan. 16, 2012.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013