Two Questionable Self Defense Cases

Now, we’re not Andrew Branca, and we don’t have a Barracks Lawyer License, even, but we’re thinking that these two cases of claimed self-defense have… problems.

ITEM: Zero-Dark-Twenty-Five. And Drunk.

The first is the weakest. It begins at 0125 hours in a strip club in Key West. The shooter, one Derek David of Denham Springs, LA, is out on bail pending trial. (His bail was almost $600k surety). He has invoked the Florida Stand Your Ground law, which (contrary to most media reporting) gives him a chance to get the charges dropped early, or at least to make that argument in a pretrial hearing. It’s a big rock for his lawyer to push uphill:

Derek David, 34, pulled out a .380 handgun while on Charles Street, a short alley off the 200 block of Duval Street, at 1:25 a.m. March 21, 2016, his attorney says, but only after he had been beaten by four people who included one of the so-called victims and his wife.

“Mr. David found himself in the middle of a violent, unprovoked attack,” according to a defense motion asking a judge to dismiss all charges, including three counts of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault with a weapon, firing a gun while intoxicated and resisting arrest.

The alcohol and resisting arrest seem rather… incongruent with self-defense and are facts that will certainly complicate the case. He will, however, get his hearing in a couple of weeks.

Key West police have told a much different version of the shooting, depicting a couple that was “obnoxiously drunk” before they got into a fight in which David pushed his wife down and strangers tried to separate them. Officers said David, who had been staying on Sugarloaf Key with his wife Jodie David, drunkenly brandished a pistol and fired four times into a crowd near Duval Street after bystanders intervened.

David is also accused of pointing the gun at two people before fleeing the scene.

David ran off but was followed by a strip club manager who waited until police arrived to take the gunman into custody. Police used a Taser stun gun to get him to comply.

But David’s lawyers, Donald Barrett and Dustin Hunter, say David was only protecting himself and his petite wife after being knocked to the ground and further harassed by four strangers.

You can read his lawyers’ version of the story at the link. One more confounding fact that they will undoubtedly try to keep out of this trial, and prosecuting attorneys will doubtless attempt to have admitted:

Six months before the shooting, David had the same handgun confiscated by Key West police, who said they found him drunk on Duval Street, angry that a friend had taken his truck without permission.

It’ll also hurt that of his four shots, two struck people who were not involved in the fight. Not good. Nobody’s a lawyer around here, but we’re thinking the Stand Your Ground hearing is not going to call this self-defense, and at trial time he might want to bring a toothbrush.

ITEM: That’s Putting the Dead in Deadbeat

Moncrief from social media

Anthanasia “Nasia” Moncrief, 28, left, had an argument with Richard Spadel, who rented a room in her home, over rent. There might be two sides to the story, but Spadel’s not telling his: he’s dead. Moncrief shot him; she’s claiming self-defense in a fight that started as a pushing match.

Whether there was a pre-existing relationship between Spadel and Moncrief,  other than landlord and tenant, is unclear: they lived at the same address in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia. Spadel, for his part, had been in trouble with the law.

But now it’s Moncrief who finds herself in trouble with the law. Here’s how Philly.com explained it:

Spadel, prior mug from mugshots.com. He’s officially out of mugshots now.

Early Saturday, Anthanasia Moncrief, who lists herself on Facebook as a former real estate sales agent, got into an argument with Richard Spadel, 32, who rented a room in Moncrief’s house on the 4300 block of Boone Street, Clark said. The argument was over Spadel’s failure to pay rent, according to Clark.

The dispute escalated to pushing and shoving, and Moncrief retrieved a gun and shot Spadel in the upper right back, police said.

When officers arrived, Moncrief directed them to the second floor, where a third person was trying to help Spadel, police said.

But that man’s efforts were futile. Spadel was pronounced dead there by medics at 2:55 a.m.

Moncrief went to the Homicide Unit and gave a statement, Clark said, and the District Attorney’s Office subsequently approved murder and related charges against her.

With so many facts still out in this case, it;s hubris to draw any conclusions. But as the cops tell the story, murder charges were a near inevitability. You can use self-defense to protect human life from imminent mortal threats. But how imminent are they if you can go get a gun ad come back? That looks bad for Ms Moncrief, as does the location of the fatal wound (in the victim’s back) and the hour of occurrence (who has a rent discussion at quarter to three in the morning?)

Moncrief current mugshot

We can say with confidence, though, that de-escalation is always a wise move, if you can pull it off. Also, good judgment is in short supply after 0200.

But one other thing. Compare the picture of Moncrief at the top of the page to the one on the left — her booking mugshot from this charge.

Now, no one is at his or her best whilst bring arrested at 0300. But are we right in seeing some direct changes between the two pictures? Changes that might explain how a gal who used to be, but isn’t anymore, a real estate agent, winds up arguing over a few dollars with a guy who’s got sex crimes on his rap sheet?

17 thoughts on “Two Questionable Self Defense Cases

  1. Trone Abeetin

    i dunno, looks like a chick, without makeup, at zero dark thirty, who has prolly cried her eyes out at the realization that she’s getting charged.
    she doesn’t look hollowed out or looking like any other surface manifestations of drug abuse.
    Perhaps Mr. deceased jackwagon was on a roll at 0300 and got her up. This opinion is coming from the most jaded guy in the world, whose knee jerk reaction is to suspect drugs.

  2. Gray

    I know that area quite well. It used to be (50’s – 60’s) a working class blue collar neighborhood, with corner markets every other street and “tap rooms” (the local term for bar) on the opposite corners. A lot of the area was WWII veterans and their families, with a large percentage of Italian immigrant and first generation descendants. Crime was a none-issue, everyone knew everybody else, and it was a slice of Americana.

    After some demographic changes that were for the worse, things brightened up with gentrification eventually displaced the ne’er do wells, and the general appearance also improved as a result.

    I have to go with Trone, and also suggest that a significant percentage of women are either attracted to dirtbags, or are too naive to recognize one.

    And Trone, I would make you look like the town greeter.

  3. DSM

    Case 1, I’d say that guy is doomed solely for the fact he had booze in his system. No judge anywhere will rap the gavel and exclaim thanks that you had been drinking. Ever.
    Case 2, a shot in the back is usually not good, showing potential escape by the victim. If details of the scene and of the victim and suspect show a fight did occur it might mitigate it. Fellow could’ve been drunk or drugged up and was finishing up a bender when she confronted him.

  4. gebrauchshund

    Honestly I think she looks better in the mugshot.

    But then I’ll take a no make-up, dirt under the fingernails country girl over a glamour queen any day of the week.

    1. gebrauchshund

      Consequently, it’s fairly obvious where I stand in the great Ginger vs. Mary Ann debate.

      1. Tennessee Budd

        Mary Ann, of course!
        I feel the same. Most of the women with whom I’ve been involved didn’t even own much, if any, makeup. Going out to dinner might involve a muted touch of color, just to accent a facial feature, but just as often no enhancement. I figure that if a woman has to use war paint or camouflage to hide what she really looks like, I’m free to go as the Dread Pirate Westley, replete with mask.
        I briefly knew a woman who ordinarily didn’t wear much makeup; a bit of rouge, a little mascara, etc. We decided to go to dinner & a show, & she spent over an hour applying cosmetics beforehand. When she emerged from the bathroom, I barely recognized her. As I said, “briefly”.
        Fortunately, there are a lot of women in the sticks who are comfortable in their own skins. God bless ’em.
        I think it’s a good indicator. If a woman knows she looks just fine without it, that fact can make her look good. Self-confidence isn’t only internal. Do you find women attractive who look scared, depressed, unsure of themselves? I know from conversations that they don’t like it in men.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Then she would be practicing medicine without a license, and she’d be arrested again. Docduracoat and Mike_C have a powerful guild.

      1. Mike_C

        >Anesthesia –> arrested
        Maybe not. So back in the days of (only) film cameras a fella drops off a roll at at noon at a hole-in-the-wall Manhattan place called “One Hour Photo” and is told to come back tomorrow. “Why can’t I pick it up after lunch today?” asks our hapless hero. With stereotypical NY(F)C attitude the clerk sneers, “That’s just our name. Does it looklike we have room to process film here? It goes to a lab in New Jersey.”
        @gebrauchshund: concur on both points

        > powerful guild
        One to which I am vehemently opposed. The AMA (and even more so their professional journal JAMA) are rabidly anti-gun. The Massachusetts Medical Society is even worse. I attended an MMS webinar entitled “How to talk to your patients about guns” in a know-your-enemy spirit and they exceeded even my dismal expectations. The hour+ seminar was over 80% social justice and community organizer types, heavy on political indoctrination and entirely devoid of practical (or true) information, apart from the last five minutes when a Mass State Trooper said a few words. (And he wasn’t pro 2A by any means, he was just less FOS than the rest.) Not one dime to any of those people!
        /not that I have strong feelings about this :-)

  5. rocketguy

    I’m vaguely recalling a shooting from several years back…I think it was one of Ayoob’s write-ups in a gun mag. Good guy shot thug several times with an SKS and, as he sorta’ twisted to the ground, the last couple rounds were back-to-front. Ended up being a good shoot but cost the guy in court time. Not saying that’s what happened here but the ‘shot in the back’ thing can definitely cause problems.

  6. staghounds

    I like it that the Florida character had already had the same gun taken from him on the same street a few months before for kicking up a fuss drunk.

    Not a learner.

    Gun OR bottle, people. Don’t put a thief in your mouth to steal your brains.

  7. Alan Ward

    +1 on the makeup.
    The better half wore a fair amount when we first met. She and her close friends, all CBC’s, had bought into the North American beauty industry fallacy that more is better. It took me about three years to get her to realize how great she looked w/o it. Around the time of our second child she started to go almost entirely au natural makeup wise. 30 years later she still looks fantastic with or without it.

    CBC= Canadian born Chinese.

  8. Docduracoat

    As for the woman retrieving the gun from another room, Claude Werner did an analysis of five years of “The Armed Citizen” articles from the NRA magazine
    It turned out that 80%. of the time a defensive handgun was used in the home, it was retrieved from another room

  9. Craig

    In Fla you are not allowed to carry in a bar. So first off, he has problems for having a gun in the strip club, assuming he didn’t retrieve it from someplace after he left.

  10. Buckaroo

    Spadel and Moncrief slept together at some point in the past would be my guess. Either way, there is a lot more to that relationship than meets the eye.

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