Victims: Gustavo Giraldo, Joanna Regueira
The accused: Ricardo Velasquez

Gustavo_Giraldo

Gustavo Giraldo

White male

Age at time: 21

Weapon: knife, baseball bat

knife
Joanna_Regueira

Joanna Regueira

White female

Age at time: 21

Weapon: knife, baseball bat

knife
 
Velasquez

Ricardo Velasquez

White male

Age at time: 19

Weapon: knife

knife

Defendant photo: Florida Department of Corrections

Case type:
Dispute over money/property

Location:
Victim's Home

Initiator:
Disputed

Witnesses:
No

Case year:
2007

Location details: In the victim's home in Hollywood, Broward County, on May 29, 2007

What happened: The day after arguing with the victim and his girlfriend over money, Ricardo Velazquez, an Opa-locka laborer, said he got a text message from the two, asking him to come to their apartment in Hollywood. When Velazquez got there, police say he rushed past Joanna Regueira, stabbing her in the head, and attacked her boyfriend, Gustavo Giraldo. In the ensuing scuffle, all three were stabbed multiple times and Velazquez was left in critical condition. However, the state charged Velazquez with attempted second-degree murder. .

The outcome: The Fourth District panel upheld a trial judge's decision to deny immunity to Velasquez, clearing the way for Broward prosecutors to take the attempted murder case to trial. Velasquez, who claimed self-defense for his role in the fight, eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years. He was released from custody in October 2011

Investigating agency: Broward County Sheriff

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: Fourth District State Court of Appeal, Feb. 2, 2009.

Source: Miami Herald, June 5, 2007.

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013