Man Shoots Unarmed Ex at Denny's, Claims Self-Defense

Florida's Sean Barnes is the latest to invoke Stand Your Ground law
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2016 9:08 AM CDT
Man Shoots Unarmed Ex at Denny's, Claims Self-Defense
Sean Barnes   (Miami-Dade Police)

Sean Barnes admits he followed his ex-girlfriend into a Denny's bathroom, then shot her in the face. But as for the resulting attempted murder charge, Barnes says he acted in self-defense in August 2013 in accordance with Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, reports the Miami Herald. Police say Barnes and Brooke Tuchinksy—each with a restraining order against the other—met at a North Miami Denny's, where they got into an argument and had to be separated by employees. Tuchinksy then left the restaurant, but returned. She says she simply needed to use the bathroom, while Barnes says she uttered a death threat. He says he then followed her into the bathroom "to see what Tuchinsky was preparing to do."

"He saw Tuchinsky reach for her purse and grab a shiny object which he perceived to be a deadly weapon," Barnes' defense says. Barnes, who had a concealed weapons permit, grabbed his gun and fired a shot, breaking Tuchinsky's jaw; she survived. Police say Tuchinsky wasn't armed and her purse was found closed. Tuchinsky adds Barnes had threatened her days earlier, per Raw Story, saying, "I bought a new gun and would love to use it on you and make it look like an accident or self-defense." Barnes' lawyers, however, say "he never intended to use the weapon for any purpose other than self-defense." They argue Tuchinsky was harassing Barnes, who believed she slashed his mom's tires and hacked his social media accounts. A trial is set for Nov. 14. (More Florida stories.)

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