A Louisiana man who shot three people outside a Key West strip club last year wants a judge to toss charges of attempted murder by invoking the state’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law.
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.
A hearing is set for Feb. 9 before Judge Wayne Miller at the Monroe County Courthouse, prosecutors said Thursday.
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David, a father of three from Denham Springs, La., has been out of jail awaiting trial, having posted a $582,500 bond April 6.
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.
David helped his wife to her feet after she lost her balance and fell on Charles Street, according to the defense motion. Once she was steady, an unidentified man came up behind the couple and shoved them both and another unidentified man struck Derek David on the back of the head.
“The force from this punch caused Mr. David to fall forward onto the pavement,” the defense team wrote in the motion filed Jan. 13. “While Mr. David was down on the pavement he was shoved and then kicked in the ribs.”
David continued trying to walk away from the men who were goading him to fight, David’s lawyers said, but one of the attackers violently struck him again, knocking David to the ground into a puddle of water.
Jodie David became “engaged in a physical altercation with Trent Pauls and Brendan Boudreau as the parties continued back up Charles Street (to the east),” prompting her husband to pull out his handgun to defend his wife, who stands 5 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds, the motion reads.
“Mr. David then brandished a firearm, first displaying it above his head and then made his way towards the altercation, firing several shots,” David’s lawyers wrote. “Brendan Boudreau was struck by a bullet, along with two other bystanders who were not involved in the altercation.”
Reid Ogden and Scott McBride were also wounded.
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.
The Davids has been living on Sugarloaf for about one year when the shooting took place.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen