I Wonder Why Wonder Was Indicted?


Guest Columnist

The only wonder that a  Broward Grand Jury indicted James Wonder for manslaughter is that he was indicted for anything at all.  This was nothing more than a public duel that Mr. Pettit lost because he left his gun in his car. Four years ago Florida legalized public dueling. 

    In case you missed it, reversing a century of law,  Jeb Bush and the legislature abolished the duty to retreat in a public place. Previously you could  stand your ground and use deadly force only in your home. In public you could stand your ground only if you had no choice.  Now, driving on I-95 or walking down Broward Boulevard,  you don’t have to make that annoying choice.
     Under the wimpy old law Mr. Wonder could have been required to leave the area rather than shoot Mr. Pettit.  Under the new law the jury instruction says:  “…he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he reasonably believed that it was necessary…”  
    Mr. Wonder gets into a spat.  The much younger and bigger Mr Pettit follows him into a parking lot and blocks his car from moving. Arguably Pettit commits the crime of False Imprisonment. As of four years ago Mr. Wonder has no obligation to walk away even if he is 100% sure he can safely do so. At trial the prosecutor will be prohibited from even asking him that question.  Florida law says Mr. Pettit needed killin’.  Mr Wonder just followed the law.  I’m sure Marion Hammer will nominate him as the NRA “Man Of The Year.”
    Is there anything to regret?  Yeah, there was no paparazzi around.  That way we could go on You-Tube and watch it again and again.
(Sam Fields is a Broward attorney and a long-time political activist)

9 Responses to “I Wonder Why Wonder Was Indicted?”

  1. shotgun bill says:

    Fields is right. Wonder was threatened and under our Florida law, he had a right to defend himself. The cop was out of control.

  2. James White says:

    I must agree. The officer threatened the older Mr. Wonder and under Florida Law and common sense, he had to defend himself. The officer was shot properly and it was his own fault.

  3. anonymous says:

    oh my god this blog is fast becoming the has been hour. This is the online version of the Locanto show. I smelled this coming when you speculated that Caletyka campaign was being run by Scott Cowan (as many say who?) Now a cloumn by Sam Fields, who? the guy who couldnt beat Marcia Beach in a judical race.

    Future guest columnists will be

    Al Schrieber
    Russ Barakat
    Dan Lewis
    Fred Lippman
    John Rayson

    No wonder why more people read Bob Norman. Maybe you ought to have people under the age of 50 or gasp 40, discuss politics. zzzzzzzzzz

    Sorry buddy time and broward politics has passed you by

  4. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Anonymous,
    If Buddy and I are such has beens how come you were afraid to sign yur name?

    “Puzzled in Plantation”

  5. Thin skinned Sammy? says:

    Sam. Don’t be so thin-skinned. You’re going to blog, you’re going to get flamed/ripped, etc.

    Also, it’s pretty hack to call someone out because they are posting anonymously. That is the whole point of bloggin — anonymous dialogue without repurcussion.

    Just look at the great and intellectual dialogue the boys at jaablog.com have created. Oh wait, nevermind….bad example.

  6. Jesus Martinez says:

    Oh Sammy, Sammy, Sammy… are you jewish my brother?

  7. Sam Fields says:

    No. I am actually a Puerto Rican who anglicized his name. I was Bernardo’s cousin in West Side Story.

    I am hardly thinned skinned. I just believe that unless you are in the Federal Witness Protection Program you ought to own up to your public comments.

    What are you afraid/ashamed of? I am 63 years old. I promise not to beat you up.

  8. Mary says:

    I was in FLA when this shooting took place, and everyone was rushed to judge saying that the shooter was the aggressor, and that the shooter would be hunted down by any means neccessary, I believe those were the words of one BIG MOUTH PINES COP the bald one, and now tablea re turned. The shooter was in fear for his LIFE, witnesses have come forward saying that Mr Petit was the aggressor, and that Mr Petit was seen chasing after Mr Wonder driving wrecklessly down Dykes Rd. Mr wonder was in his rights under FLA LAW, and this case of him being indicted is a waste of taxpayers money. But now sense it was shown Mr Petit was the aggressor how come thats not in the news, but it was news when those BIG MOUTH COPS FROM PINES were saying they wouldnt rest until the shooter was caught? it’s called selective news. But then again the truth always comes out in the end but now that Mr Petit is being made to look bad for his very poor judgement of having his 12yr old daughter in the car while he chased Mr Wonder down the road and into the post office, its no longer news, I can only wish I was a newspaper reporter down there I would love to see a few of those PINES cops eat some of there own words.

  9. Robert Baerenwald says:

    Respectfully Esq. Fields, You wrote: “Under the wimpy old law Mr. Wonder could have been required to leave the area rather than shoot Mr. Pettit. Under the new law the jury instruction says: “…he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he reasonably believed that it was necessary…” Mr. Fields, I believe you are correctly quoting part of the “Castle Doctrine”, however one report I read stated that Mr. Pettit was shot in the back of the head, which would mean he was moving away from Mr. Wonder, presenting no imminent danger, another criteria that needs to be met. I would need to see all the evidence, but based on this issue alone, Manslaughter could definately be charged and Mr. Wonder would likely be convicted.