This verdict surprised me more than the Rittenhouse verdict, though that was surprising. Andrew Coffee IV found not guilty on all counts of murder.
Indian River County in Florida is on the Atlantic coast, about halfway between Palm Beach and Daytona Beach, or about 40 miles south of Cape Canaveral. It is just about due east of St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay.
In 2017, in Indian River County, Florida, Sheriff's deputies show up at the home of Andrew Coffee and his girlfriend Alteria Woods, and throw a flashbang grenade into his home. He thought that he was under attack, and opened fire. Sheriff's deputies returned fire, killing Ms. Woods. Coffee was charged with murder.
Before the case went to the jury's hand, Coffee took the stand to defend himself — blaming deputies for his girlfriend's death.
The defense said Coffee was asleep and thought the flash-bang was gunfire so he fired his gun because he thought the was under attack.
“I was trying to protect me and Alteria and I thought I was doing that, but I feel I didn't protect her. I can't sleep with that ... they killed her,” Coffee said.
Prosecutors maintain that deputies "announced" their presence, but I'm not clear on how they did that. It's clear that they didn't ring the doorbell, or do anything civilized. It was a "drug raid" in the middle of the night, so I read that as "no knock." The flashbang probably went off within seconds of someone shouting "Police!"
The DA was disappointed that the jury didn't pin the blame for everything that the cops did on who they had designated as the bad guy of the day. But then DAs HATE self-defense. I sort of wish I had a "Cops Behaving Recklessly" category of posts.
Coffee was found guilty on one count of "possession of a firearm by a convicted felon." He has yet to be sentenced for that. If he was in Chicago, there is a good chance that charge would have been dropped, but he is in Indian River County, Florida