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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Case puts 'Stand Your Ground' law on defense

4850626mobley_embedded_prod_affilia More than five months after claiming self-defense in the fatal shooting of two unarmed men at a North Miami-Dade chain restaurant, Gabriel Mobley was arrested Thursday for murder.

Miami-Dade prosecutors believe the case is a key test of Florida's 2005 so-called Stand Your Ground law, which loosened standards for shooting in self-defense.

Mobley, 31, is accused of fatally shooting pals Jason Jesus Gonzalez, 24, and Rolando Carrazana, 24, in the parking lot of Chili's Grill & Bar, 5705 NW 173rd Dr., just past midnight on Feb. 28.

Miami-Dade police charged Mobley, of Opa-locka, with two counts of second-degree murder.

''This arrest is very important because it sends a clear message. The Legislature passed the new Stand Your Ground law but it is not a free-for-all to execute people,'' said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

After the shooting, Mobley cooperated with detectives. His Glock .45-caliber pistol was legitimate. He held a concealed weapons permit.

Initially, Mobley told Miami-Dade homicide detectives he shot Carrazana because he was ''reaching for something under his shirt. He did not see any weapons but he believed he was reaching for one,'' an arrest warrant said.

Mobley denied shooting Gonzalez. But video surveillance ''clearly showed Mobley shooting Gonzalez, whose hands were raised and free from any objects or weapons.'' One witness saw Mobley ''shoot Gonzalez as he was backing away'' and ``shoot Carrazana as he turned to run away.' [Mark Godsey]

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