Man Cleared in Shooting Deputy Sheriff Under Stand Your Ground
VIERA, Florida– Citing the Stand Your Ground law, the Fifth District Court of Appeals dismissed the longstanding charges against a Port St. John man accused of shooting a Brevard County Sheriff’s deputy during a botched arrest in front of his home in 2015.
The decision, issued Wednesday, ends the prosecution of John DeRossett, 60, on the attempted premeditated first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer while discharging a firearm, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.
DeRossett spent nearly five years at the Brevard County Jail Complex in Sharpes as he awaited a trial. He was allowed to leave on bond in March.
“The appellate decision is better than a jury acquittal. An acquittal only means not guilty. This order means that John is innocent, that his actions were justified, and that he never should have been arrested in the first place. It’s a total vindication,” said Michael Panella, DeRossett’s Orlando-based attorney.
“Great, great. Thank God. Thank Jesus. Thank everybody, thank you. You just don’t know, how it feels, you know? I’m trying to hold the tears back,” DeRossett said in a statement issued to Florida Today.
Florida Today reached out to Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey for comment, but no statements have been released.
The appellate court found that DeRosset, whose attorneys argued that he did not know he was firing at deputies, was entitled to protect his home against what he thought was a threat.
Prosecutors and Brevard County sheriff’s investigators said DeRossett opened fire at deputies who were arresting his niece on a prostitution charge.
DeRossett’s attorney’s argued that he did not know who the men were confronting his niece and that he was responding to her screams for help at the front door.
The shooting took place as the sheriff’s office investigated reports of prostitution taking place at the home Mary Ellis DeRossett, 47, shared with her uncle, DeRossett.
Gunfire ensued and Deputy Casey Smith was shot in the lower abdomen. He recovered from his injuries. Both Ellis, a convicted prostitute known as The Cougar, and DeRossett, then a security guard at Port Canaveral, suffered minor gunshot injuries, reports show.
The state attorney’s office issued a statement saying that it respected the court’s decision but disagreed with the outcome.
NOTICE: All persons depicted are presumed to be innocent unless proven to be guilty in a court of law. The fugitive.com and fugitivewatch.com notations appearing on this are TRADEMARKS and NOT an expression of fact or opinion.
AVISO: Todas las personas representadas son presumidas de ser inocente a menos que resultara culpable en un tribunal de justicia. Fugitive.com y fugitivewatch.com anotaciones que aparecen en este sitio son MARCAS REGISTRADAS y NO una expresión de hecho o de opinión.
COMMENT ADVISEMENT: We welcome your thoughts, but for the sake of all readers, please refrain from the use of obscenities, personal attacks or racial slurs. All comments are subject to our terms of service and may be removed. Repeat offenders may lose commenting privileges.
AVISO DE COMENTARIO: Damos la bienvenida a tus pensamientos, pero por el bien de todos los lectores, por favor abstenerse de la utilización de obscenidades, ataques personales o insultos racistas. Todos los comentarios están sujetos a nuestros términos y condiciones del servicio, y podrá ser retirado. Reincidentes pueden perder privilegios comentar.
Fugitive Watch was founded in 1992 by two San Jose police officers, Steve Ferdin and Scott Castruita. Fugitive Watch is a reality-based television show, newspaper and website, fugitive.com. We can also be found on social media such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The mission of Fugitive Watch is to make Your community safer by helping law enforcement fight crime. Fugitive Watch brings the community, local business, and law enforcement together to solve crimes, apprehend wanted fugitives and provide education and crime prevention information to the community.
Business and private sponsorship help Fugitive Watch empower the community to strike back at crime from the safety of their living rooms. Fugitive Watch has been credited by law enforcement with over several 1000 crimes solved or fugitives apprehended. Fugitive Watch also helps improve the safety of police officers by locating fugitives for law enforcement so they can more safely arrest them rather than unexpectedly running across them through extremely dangerous routine “chance encounters”. As law enforcement officers know all too well, These “chance encounters” have resulted in countless officer injuries and deaths.