A Miami man charged with murdering his ex-wife’s new British husband has petitioned the court to dismiss the case under Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law, CBS Miami reports.
In a meeting with a judge Tuesday, Cristobal Palacio claimed that he shot Paul Winter six times in the chest in self defense in October 2008 after Winter seemed to reach for a gun.
UPDATE, Thursday noon: The judge presiding over the case denied the “Stand Your Ground” defense for Palacio, and jury selection for his murder trial begins Thursday. Head over to CBS Miami to read Palacio’s ex-wife’s testimony.
The shooting, which occurred in front of Palacio's and his ex-wife Jennifer's 7-year-old twins, according to The Telegraph, happened as the children were being dropped off at their father's house for the evening.
Police say that when Jennifer Palacio and Winters arrived at her ex's home, he did not answer the door for several minutes. As she and Winter were about to leave, Palacio allegedly came out of the house and yelled at the pair, prompting Winter to exit the car.
"The victim...began to approach [Palacio] on foot, at which time [Palacio] pulled out a firearm and shot the victim numerous times. The victim was airlifted to JMH Trauma where he was pronounced deceased.
[Palacio] provided a post-Miranda statement detailing how the victim approached him unarmed with a puffy t-shirt, at which time [Palacio] proceeded to shoot the victim numerous times."
Prosectors content the act was cold-blooded murder. But Tuesday, according to the CBS report, Palacio told a judge that Winter appeared to be reaching for a gun, prompting him to fear for his safety. Though Winter was unarmed, Palacio claimed his fear for his life stemmed from an alleged previous incident during which Winter had pulled a gun.
The “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida removes a person's duty to retreat and dictates a person may use deadly force if he or she "reasonably" believes their life is in danger. The controversial statute most recently made waves in the shooting of unarmed Miami teen Trayvon Martin, who was killed in February in Sanford when self-appointed neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman shot him during a scuffle.
According to the law, a judge can grant immunity to a defendant should he or she find that “Stand Your Ground” applies. Palacio's attorneys said they are concerned that jurors in self-defense cases will be rubbed the wrong way by a defendant's use of the statute.
“I’m fearful that there will be backlash, and people who deserve the protection of the law will be denied because of the public pressure,” attorney David Macey told the Miami Herald.
Winter had reportedly moved to the United States from the United Kingdom to marry Jennifer Palacio after the couple met online.
WATCH: Some say "Stand Your Ground" needs some editing: