Blind Florida Man Who Killed Buddy Gets His Guns Back
Was exonerated under Stand Your Ground
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2014 12:11 AM CST
Updated Feb 25, 2014 3:03 AM CST
John Wayne Rogers, who has been legally blind since an accident in 2001, is seen in this booking photo.   (Seminole County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – A blind man in Florida who shot and killed a drinking buddy in March 2012 has been reunited with his guns after winning immunity from prosecution last month under the state's Stand Your Ground law. The judge in Sanford—the city where George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin—on Thursday said he had no choice but to give John Wayne Rogers his guns back, WESH reports. "I have to return property that was taken under the circumstance," Judge John Galluzzo said. "I have researched and haven't found case law to say otherwise."

The 40-year-old former Marine was reunited with his Glock handgun and the Remington assault rifle he shot friend James DeWitt, 34, with from a distance of no more than 18 inches, but the state decided his ammunition was "too old and dangerous" to return. After the hearing, Rogers—who the Orlando Sentinel earlier reported fired 15 rounds from a handgun at his cousin during another drunken night four years ago—told reporters he wants to be armed because it is his "constitutional right. I have been through enough, and I would like to retire." Rogers lost his sight in a 2001 work accident, and had insisted he needed the guns for protection.

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Showing 3 of 116 comments
Hubbert Smith
Feb 28, 2014 11:29 AM CST
what a sad, sad story. someone died. someones son-father-uncle-brother-husband-friend is dead. Gus cost us all ... Imagine a country with fewer guns. Reducing the burden on society of Police, EMT, emergency rooms, insurance rates, courts, public defenders. Imagine a country with fewer guns reducing the burden on prisons, parole system and the burdens on the families of both criminals and victims. what _exactly_ is keeping us from this better place?
Hubbert Smith
Feb 28, 2014 11:29 AM CST
the blind guy in this story wants to protect himself ... why not do it with something non-lethal like pepper spray, pepper pellets, taser, or a guard dog. And what about the rest of us? don't we have the right to _live_? and why didn't the court system protect the rest of us and disarm this blind guy who killed someone. this guy cannot drive, cannot vote, but he can and does own lethal weapons, which are unsafe in his hands.
BillinDetroit
Feb 25, 2014 10:36 PM CST
Here's a clue: the author of this article has his head stuck up his exhaust port. ALL "assault rifles" are capable of fully automatic fire (and rare as hens teeth in the civilian world) while ALL of the Remington "Tactical" rifles are bolt-action firearms. They don't even LOOK like an assault rifle, much less act like one. Take a look for yourself. Go to remington.com, click on Products then click on Tactical Models Here's the difference in layman's terms: Assault rifle: bang, bang, bang in burst mode, baaaaaaaaaaaang in fully automatic mode Bolt action rifle: bang, lift bolt, pull bolt backwards to remove fired casing, push bolt forwards to insert fresh cartridge, lock bolt back down, take aim again, bang number 2 Recently a Florida woman defended her home against an armed attack using her privately owned firearm. If this site didn't mention that, it is reasonable to presume that their posting of this article exposes a politically motivated agenda.