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New Yorker Nadim Yaqubie misunderstanding of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law could cause him his freedom


Nadim Yaqubie, 23, New Your resident stabbed Roberto Camacho, a homeless man in May 2008 during a struggle in an alley near Mansion nightclub. He was charged with second-degree murder, but insisted he was acting in self-defense.

Let’s cut through the chase and state the facts:

1. Nadim Yaqubie, then 19, came to Miami Beach to party in May 2008 and brought the victim’s ID from another man for $50 to get into Mansion on Washington Ave.

2. Nadim Yaqubie had possession of a stolen driver’s license belonging to Roberto Camacho.

3. Camacho confronted Yaqubie while waiting in line to go inside of Club Mansion about returning his driver’s license, but rather give the stolen license back, Yaqubie ran into an alleyway between Washington and James Avenue.

4. Camacho ran after Yaqubie.

5. Yaqubie and Camacho started to scuffle.

6. Yaqubie brandished a seven-to-eight-inch knife and started to jab
at Camacho.

7. In self-defense, Camacho threw a book bag at Yaqubie.

8. Yaqubie responded with a fatal thrust to Camacho’s torso.

9. Yaqubie runs away, still in possession of the stolen driver’s
license belonging to Camacho.

10. Camacho succumbs to his injury.

The Florida law is a self-defense, self-protection law. It has four key components:

• It establishes that law-abiding residents and visitors may legally presume the threat of bodily harm or death from anyone who breaks into a residence or occupied vehicle and may use defensive force, including deadly force, against the intruder.

• In any other place where a person “has a right to be,” that person has “no duty to retreat” if attacked and may “meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

• In either case, a person using any force permitted by the law is immune from criminal prosecution or civil action and cannot be arrested unless a law enforcement agency determines there is probable cause that the force used was unlawful.

• If a civil action is brought and the court finds the defendant to be immune based on the parameters of the law, the defendant will be awarded all costs of defense.

Nadim Yaqubie returned to Mansion the next night, the same place were the confrontation with Camacho took place. After he started harassing women at the night club, security guards called police. When the police arrived at the club and began to search Yaqubie, they discovered the knife used to stab Camacho in addition to Camacho’s I.D.

After a series of court battles across the state – – Yaqubie’s case was also heard before the Third District Court of Appeal – – The Florida Supreme Court in December 2010 ruled that judges should be the ones to weigh the evidence under a looser standard than the “beyond the reasonable doubt” one used before juries.

Yaqubie’s defense attorney Richard Hersch presented his argument before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Daryl Trawick, who dismissed the notion, saying that Yaqubie was not protecting himself as much as he was protecting his $50 “investment.”

“A reasonable person under these circumstances would have believed that if he had given the license back, it may not have been necessary to stab Camacho,” Trawick wrote in his order last week.

“Taken in their totality, these actions do not reflect someone who had simply been trying to protect himself from death or serious bodily injury from another person. Instead, they reflect a consciousness of guilt and the avoidance of legal consequences.”

Judge Trawick tentatively set the trial date for February 13, 2012. However, Nadim Yaqubie’s lawyer, Richard Hersch, said he will appeal Judge Trawick’s ruling.

All legal eyes will be on this case as it makes it way through the justice system. Stay Tuned…..

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January 19, 2012 - Posted by | Eye on Justice | , , , , , , , ,

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