• Judge to decide if woman charged with killing husband can use Stand Your Ground defense


    SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A Seminole County judge will decide whether a woman charged with shooting and killing her husband can use Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law as her defense.

    Anita Smithey claims she killed her estranged husband in self-defense when he was raping her two years ago.

    But there's been a delay in the ruling because Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester decided to give attorneys time to continue their arguments in writing.

    "If Mrs. Smithey tried to create some grand plan to murder her husband, she would have come up with a better story," said defense attorney Rick Jancha.

    Jancha told Lester, 43-year-old Smithey shot her estranged husband, Robert Cline, in self-defense.

    He also said she was entitled to immunity from prosecution under the state's Stand Your Ground law.

    Lester is already presiding over another prominent self-defense case involving George Zimmerman.

    Zimmerman claims he killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense. Zimmerman and Martin were strangers.

    Smithey and her husband were estranged.

    "I had no intention of actually shooting him. I just did," said Smithey.

    In May of 2010, Smithey told Oviedo police Cline came to her home unannounced for sex. She said she gave in because she didn't want a fight. Afterwards, she showered and asked Cline to leave. That's when she said Cline held a knife to her throat and raped her.

    Smithey said when her husband's back was turned, she grabbed a gun out of her nightstand and slipped it under a pillow.

    "Almost that instant that he… that he pushed back on it, it went off," she said.

    But prosecutors allege Smithey doesn't' have a defense under Stand Your Ground. They say she didn't believe force was necessary to prevent her death or great bodily injury, nor was she preventing the commission of a forcible felony.

    Lester has given attorneys until next Friday for any additional filings.

    In May, Gov. Rick Scott put together a task force to look into Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law.

    Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings is one of the 17 members.

    The panel was in Longwood in June for a public meeting. Lt. Gov. JenniferCarroll, who is also a member of the panel, said she'll deliver a report to the governor and state lawmakers by the end of the year.

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