In the “reverse” of the Trayvon Martin case—the Daniel Adkins incident in Arizona, in which a black male used the “stand your ground” defense in justifying the shooting death of a unarmed “white” Hispanic—a grand jury and Maricopa County prosecutors finally decided that they had enough evidence to overlook the “concerns” of Arizona’s manic gun lobby and charge Cordell Jude with second degree murder on July 27—nearly four months after the shooting. Although not immediately arrested, he is expected to show-up for his arraignment on August 9. As I mentioned before, the tipping point in favor of prosecuting Jude on a murder charge was his arrest on July 14 on drug and weapons charges. We’ve learned a little bit more about that arrest: Jude was apparently the driver in a “drive-by” shooting incident committed by his two passengers; Jude claims that he didn’t know the men, and was just giving them a “ride.” Marijuana was found on Jude’s person; he claims that he didn’t know Marijuana possession was “illegal.” Before anyone gets the idea that Jude was just a naïve young child, we should recall his twitter comments; this is a man for whom callousness toward human life and criminal activity is just part of his “wayz.”
In a news conference, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery told reporters that "Our decision to prosecute this case is based on a thorough review of the evidence gathered during an extensive investigation by our law enforcement partners, and after a separate and careful analysis of the defendant's assertion of self-defense. After engaging in this deliberative process, we are confident in moving forward with our efforts to hold this defendant accountable for his actions…The mere claim that you were engaged in self-defense is not enough. There is a reasonable person standard that has to be reviewed in light of all the facts of the case as to whether or not someone would believe they needed to use deadly physical force to stop another person.” Montgomery noted that a reasonable person would not consider being "yelled" at to be sufficient justification for shooting someone.
Whether or not this will be a test case on the “stand your ground” defense remains to be seen. One thing that is certain is that this indictment came no thanks to the national media, which has been shamelessly playing up the race angle in the Martin case, when the Adkins shooting was clearly more obviously unjustified in its nature. It was Adkins’ family and a few dedicated people who kept this story alive when it seemed likely that the Arizona gun lobby and media indifference would have effectively “killed” the case—and injustice “served”—that persuaded prosecutors that Jude’s crime could no longer go without the prospect of punishment.