- Jul 11, 2003
Apparently, run of the mill criminals are allowed to own guns in Florida.
John Wayne Rogers, a blind man acquitted of killing his friend James Dewitt under Floridas Stand Your Ground statute, successfully sued the state to have his guns returned to him.
Prosecutors had charged Rogers with first-degree murder in the 2012 shooting death of his house guest and drinking companion, James DeWitt. Rogerss attorneys contended that he was a blind man defending himself from a drunken guest, but the prosecution had witnesses willing to testify that Rogers can see.
Rogers claimed that he asked Dewitt and DeWitts girlfriend, Christina Ann Robertson, to leave after the trio returned from a 10 a.m. beer run. DeWitt refused, Rogers testified, so Rogers went into his bedroom and retrieved his rifle. When he returned to the living room, DeWitt charged him, and Rogers shot him in the chest.
DeWitts girlfriend, Robertson, told Seminole County deputies that the two men had been play fighting when Rogers shot him.
Rogers was freed from Seminole County Jails on January 9, 2014, mere hours after Circuit Judge John Galluzzo granted his Stand Your Ground motion.
Rogers, who was blinded in a work-related accident in 2001, has an extensive history of violence. In 2010, following another night of drinking, Rogers shot at his cousin and roommate, Michael Rogers, 15 times with a handgun. Michael Rogers was not shot, and John Rogers eventually plead no contest to one count of unlawfully displaying a firearm, for which he was placed on probation.
That probation was revoked when, in 2011, he punched a woman, which led to him spending 71 days in jail on domestic violence charges.
Despite this history, Rogers convinced the man who granted his Stand Your Ground motion, Judge Galluzzo, that the state had no right to keep his confiscated weapons.