Play stupid, violent, racist games, and you may win stupid, lethal prizes.
Newly released surveillance videos shows a former U.S. Army soldier threatening and then charging at a car in the Miccosukee casino parking lot, spurring a passenger to fatally open fire.
The footage was key evidence for prosecutors who dropped the murder case against two men initially arrested for the killing of Fernando Duarte on Christmas Day at the West Miami-Dade casino.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office determined that Duarte, though unarmed, was the clear aggressor and shooter Kenin Bailey acted in self-defense under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
The video was released Tuesday, two months after prosecutors declined to file charges against Bailey and the car’s driver, Mikey Lenard.
The slain man was Duarte, a 33-year-old burly former soldier who had been asked to leave the casino after cursing and directing racial slurs at Bailey and Lenard at the poker table. The footage shows Duarte and a friend leaving the casino, cashing out their chips and chatting amicably with security guards.
But once Duarte got his car in the parking lot, he got out of his car and “engaged” Bailey and Lenard in the parking lot, according to a report by prosecutors. Then, as Bailey and Lenard tried to drive away, Duarte twice maneuvered his car to block theirs from leaving
Lenard later told police Duarte yelled: “I am going to f–k you up and kill you,” while making a hand gesture like a gun; the footage backs up that claim.
Moments later, Duarte again blocked Lenard’s car from leaving the resort parking lot. But this time, Duarte got out and charged toward their reversing car, getting so close that Bailey opened fire, shooting 13 times and hitting the man with two fatal shots.
Between Duarte’s threats, hand gestures and the possibility that he might have been reaching for a weapon, Bailey was justified in using deadly force, prosecutors concluded.
I have no sympathy whatsoever for Fernando Duarte in this incident. He started out verbally abusing Bailey and Lenard in the casino, stalked them, threatened them, blocked their attempts to leave, and then charged at them.
He gave the two men—who apparently only wanted to leave and to be left alone—little choice by to defend themselves in this incident.