Man accused of shooting victim 17 times seeking 'stand your ground' hearing



BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Friends and family of Gary Hembree protested outside the Brevard County Courthouse, waving signs and calling for justice Wednesday.

The protests came before a hearing for William Woodward, who is seeking a "stand your ground" hearing.

Woodward is accused of gunning down three neighbors, killing Hembree and Roger Picior and seriously wounding Bruce Blake.

"It's awful, it's awful... The family's not the same without Gary," Hembree's mother Dorothy Huppert said.

"It's beyond craziness now… I don't get it," Blake said.

Blake said he's angry Woodward's attorney is looking for a "stand your ground" hearing.

Woodward's attorney doesn't want a typical "stand your ground" hearing with the judge ruling. He wants a separate trial with jurors deciding if he should stand trial for the shootings.

"That's what we're entitled to and that's what we're asking for," defense attorney Greg Eisenmenger said.

Woodward told police he faced imminent danger from months of threats against him.

"See, we've been tormented for the last month by these people," Woodward said in a police interview.

Other neighbors also showed up to support Woodward saying he was receiving threats.

Families of the victims say all of those shot were unarmed and there's no way Woodward was standing his ground.

"He came back and shot Gary, ended up shooting him 17 times. That's not standing. That is a cold-hearted murder," Huppert said.