Having read that title, you’re probably expecting “another psycho from Florida” story. You were probably expecting the story of a white supremacist, footage of a skinhead screaming racial slurs at the camera while he rants about Obamunist gun grabbers and black helicopters. But, no. The truth is much more frightening. Because William T. Woodward hasn’t gone insane.
In spite of the fact that Woodward sneaked up on three of his neighbors during a labor day barbecue, and killed Gary Lee Hembree and Roger Picior (injuring Bruce Timothy, who survived 11 shots)…he’s completely lucid. He believes he had every legal right to do what he did. This is from the video below, Woodward speaking to his lawyer:
Woodward: “I was kinda hopin’ (my parents) were coming down to see me. Cause I know my momma’s going to be a nervous wreck.”
Lawyer: “Yeah, I understand. Parents are like that.”
Woodward: “See, I been tormented for the last month by these people. And they’ve been tormenting my parents, making threats against them. And they’ve just made our lives a living hell. And my wife…we can’t go anywhere without an escort. We can’t even let our kids outside.”
So, Woodward (according to him) felt a legitimate threat to himself and his family. Speaking as a Floridian, I can tell you it’s not the first time someone here has reacted that way under similar circumstances. So, that much at least isn’t unprecedented, and it still doesn’t mean he’s not just another raving psycho. Reading that passage above, it’s clear that Woodward was completely aware, had personally valid motive, and believed he was in the right. That’s not the frightening thing.
What truly scary is that this man, who for ANY reason, ran up and reloaded twice to fire 20 shots into three people in public…SINCERELY BELIEVES HE HAD THE LEGAL RIGHT.
Why would he think that?
His lawyers might have something to do with it. Far from setting up a defense for Woodward’s brutal murder they moved to have the case simply DISMISSED under (you guessed it) Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. The very same law that Zimmerman used when he proved to every Floridian asshole with a grudge that you could gun unarmed people down in public and get away with it, as long as you can prove you “felt threatened.”
The scum — sorry, lawyer’s — argument made reference to Enoch V. State, which suggested that an “imminent threat” could include something that is likely to occur at some point in the future. Woodward’s other lawyer, Robert Berry told Florida Today:
“I think legally that term has sort of been evolving especially given changes of our government’s definition of ‘imminent. It’s become more expansive than someone putting a gun right to your head. It’s things that could become, you know, an immediate threat.”
According to Woodward, the men said they were going to “Get him.”
Which, apparently, is all the “proof” you need in Florida.
Even more incredibly, the scum — lawyers — cited The Bush Doctrine, the “preventative/preemptive war” policy that Bush used to justify the invasion of Iraq.
I wish Woodward were insane. I wish his lawyers were just pulling some kind of crazy legal stunt to make the papers. A rhyming Johnny Cochran thing. But it’s much worse than that.
This is the America in which we live. We’ve gotten to this point. We’ve officially arrived at a place in our nation’s history where a man can hunt down three unarmed people, murder them in full view of the public, and EXPECT TO GET AWAY WITH IT. Whether he thought it was right or wrong is irrelevant; I watched the same thing happen four block from here 15 years ago, and the guy at least RAN AWAY. He HID. He LIED. KNEW he was going to prison if he got convicted, no matter how many threats he’d claimed to hear before.
He couldn’t find the verdict from a TV trial that justified gunning down an unarmed teenager.
He couldn’t use an illegal war, or the actions of The President of the United States as valid legal precedent for cold-blooded murder.
He didn’t have Fox “News” hiring war criminals, giving their opinion on why both were perfectly fine.
William Woodward hasn’t gone insane.
I don’t know about you, but right about now, THIS Floridian is feeling a distinctly imminent threat from Fox, the Kochs, and everyone who’s ever worn a teabag.
Here’s audio surveillance of the attack and footage of the man in custody from Crooks and Liars: