Victim: Jake Couture (killed)
The accused: James Menard

Jake_Couture

Jake Couture

White male

Age at time: 17

Weapon: gun

gun
 
Menard

James Menard

White male

Age at time: 23

Weapon: gun

gun

Defendant photo: Collier County Sheriff's Office, 2010

Case type:
Dispute over money/property

Location:
Public

Initiator:
Defendant

Witnesses:
Yes

Case year:
2010

Location details: Outside in the Brittany Bay Apartments in Naples, Collier County, on Jan. 01, 2010

What happened: James Menard drove to the Brittany Bay Apartments with a group of friends to recover money they say was stolen from them earlier that day by another group. The confrontation quickly became heated, and one of the men shoved Menard, who had brought his gun with him. Menard, who had a concealed weapons permit, said he fired because he feared being attacked and saw one of the opposing group members carrying what turned out to be a pellet gun shaped like an Uzi. Menard, 24, fired five times into the crowd, wounding two and killing Jake Couture, 17.

The outcome: A judge rejected "stand your ground" defense and Menard was sentenced to life after a jury convicted him of murder and related charges.

Investigating agency: Collier County Sheriff

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: Naples Daily News, May 28, 2010.

Source: Naples Daily News, Feb. 11, 2011. Link to original source

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013