A Miramar retiree who shot and killed an off-duty federal agent after a road-rage incident in 2008 will try to argue this week in Broward court that he is immune from prosecution under Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law.
Testimony was rescheduled to start Tuesday before Broward Circuit Judge Bernard Bober about whether Stand Your Ground applies to James Wonder, who shot U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent Donald Pettit after a heated argument while driving in Pembroke Pines.
On Monday, court officials revisited the crime scene, a post office at Pines Boulevard and Dykes Road.
Wonder, 69, is charged with manslaughter. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Wonder’s self-defense claim rests on Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, which states that individuals who are following the law have no duty to retreat in the face of a threat, and that those individuals may meet force with force if they believe it is necessary to protect themselves or another, or to prevent a forcible felony.
According to police reports, Wonder and Pettit, who was 52 at the time, got into a shouting and finger-pointing match while driving on Pines Boulevard near Dykes Road on the morning of Aug. 5, 2008. Wonder then pulled into a post office parking lot, and Pettit followed.
Pettit, who worked as a polygrapher, then got out of his car to confront Wonder, who shot the agent once in the head.