David Allen Jensen, 41, who has no permanent address, faces charges of burglary and throwing a deadly missile into a building after allegedly throwing a small doughnut-shaped piece of concrete, used to protect sprinkler heads, at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront hotel at about 1:30 a.m. According to the arrest affidavit, Jensen claimed he was trying to get inside because zombies were chasing him. Around the same time, security officers nearby reported they allegedly saw Jensen trying to open doors to a number of cars. Police said Jensen admitted to entering a yellow 1991 Mercedes because he was trying to steal tobacco.
According to Florida Statute 790.19, one may be properly convicted of throwing a deadly missile if the State Attorney proves the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
– The Defendant shot a firearm, threw a missile, or projected a hard object that could cause great bodily harm.
– The object was fired or thrown at a building, bus, train, boat, or aircraft, AND
– The act was wanton or malicious.
The biggest problem of proof in such cases is the phrase “would produce death or great bodily harm”. It’s a problem for two reasons. First, the state often confuses the term “would” with the term “could”. Just because something thrown “could” produce death or great bodily harm does not mean that it “would” do so. The statute requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the object “would” produce death or great bodily harm. Second, proving an object to be “deadly” or “causing great bodily harm” is a judgment call that rarely fits the facts alleged by law enforcement.
Many common scenarios for this charge include throwing rocks off of an overpass (commonly seen as a juvenile charge), or shooting a firearm at an occupied vehicle or occupied house (drive-by shooting). If an individual or group is targeted, additional charges could follow such as aggravated assault with a firearm, aggravated battery, or even attempted murder. Obviously, if somebody dies as a result of throwing or shooting a deadly missile, one may be charged with second-degree murder or manslaughter.
Remember, not all objects that are thrown at people, dwellings, or other places that may be occupied, are actually dangerous, but can sometimes be misconstrued as a missile. Whenever something is thrown causing damage, State prosecutors many times assume the crime of throwing a deadly missile was committed. Remember, the statute requires one throw an object that “would” cause death or serious harm. Unfortunately, many times the charge is analyzed under the “could” cause death analysis.
Many times throughout Jacksonville, the accused is just someone who has a legitimate or in Jensen’s case, an altered sense of fear for their life because of an altered mental state, either from drugs or a number of various mental conditions or illnesses that they cannot unfortunately change. Fortunately, if one obtains an experienced Jacksonville throwing deadly missiles crimes defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected, one can be sure that one will not be a victim in a fight one may not win on one’s own.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Source: Man arrested for throwing concrete, blames zombies, Zachary T. Sampson, Tampa Bay Times