Victim: Russell Ryder (killed)
The accused: Robert Sykes

Russell_Ryder

Russell Ryder

White male

Age at time: 51

Weapon: unarmed

 
Sykes

Robert Sykes

White male

Age at time: 46

Weapon: knife

knife

Defendant photo: Brevard County Sheriff's Office, 2010

Case type:
Neighborhood dispute

Location:
Defendant's Property

Initiator:
Unclear

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2010

Location details: Outside the defendant's home in Grant-Valkaria , Brevard County, on Oct. 17, 2010

What happened: Robert Sykes stabbed his neighbor to death after an altercation in a vacant lot near their homes. Sykes claimed he was attacked, but the two had a history of conflict. Both apparently had been drinking, according to a Brevard sheriff's officer.

The outcome: Acquitted of 2nd Degree Murder at trial on June 21, 2012.

Investigating agency: Brevard County Sheriff

Case decision made by: Prosecutor

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: Florida Today, Jan. 21, 2011. Link to original source

Source: Florida Today, Oct. 19, 2011. Link to original source

Source: TC Palm, Oct. 9, 2010. Link to original source

Click here for more information about how we compiled these cases. Know of something we missed or have a photo to share? Submit a case here.

 

Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013