Victim: Darnell Mason
The accused: Christopher M. Phillips

Darnell_Mason

Darnell Mason

Black male

Age at time: 19

Weapon: knife, baseball bat

knife
 
Phillips

Christopher M. Phillips

White male

Age at time: 38

Weapon: gun

gun

Defendant photo: Manatee County Sheriff's Office

Case type:
Domestic dispute

Location:
Victim's Property

Initiator:
Defendant

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2010

Location details: Inside the apartment shared by the defendant's daughter and her husband of one monthadenton in Bradenton, Manatee County, on Jan. 09, 2010

What happened: Christopher Phillips, 39, showed up at his daughter's apartment with a gun and pointed a gun at his son-in-law's head. In the ensuing struggle, the gun fired and took part of Phillip's own pinky finger off. Phillips told a jury his son-in-law pulled a knife first, and that the son-in-law's brother pulled a baseball bat and cracked Phillips over the head. His lawyer argued that Phillips was simply standing his ground. Son-in-law was not injured.

The outcome: Phillips was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm but acquitted after a jury trial. Defense used "stand your ground" argument.

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: Bradenton Herald, Jan. 10, 2010.

Source: Sarasota Herald Tribune, Oct. 22, 2010. Link to original source

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013