Victim: Fernando Castulo Morales (killed)
The accused: Edwin Vargas-Lopez

Fernando_Castulo Morales

Fernando Castulo Morales

White male

Age at time: 32

Weapon: unarmed

 
Edwin_Vargas-Lopez

Edwin Vargas-Lopez

Hispanic male

Age at time: 34

Weapon: knife

knife

Case type:
Fight at bar/party

Location:
Defendant's Property

Initiator:
Victim

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2009

Location details: In the defendant's car outside Antojitos Mexicanos Restaurant and Bar in Bradenton, Manatee County, on March 14, 2009

What happened: Fernando Moralez was stabbed to death outside a Bradenton bar. Defendant Vargas-Lopez had been dancing with a woman when two men confronted him. He left, got in a truck and was punched through the open driver-side window. He stabbed out the window. A witness said she was in the process of dragging the victim away when he was stabbed.

The outcome: Murder charge reduced to manslaughter, then dismissed by judge.

Investigating agency: Manatee 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: Bradenton Herald, Feb. 21, 2010. Link to original source

Source: Sarasota Herald Tribune, Feb. 19, 2010. Link to original source

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013