The trial of a Louisiana man who fired into a crowd on Duval Street in March 2016 opened Tuesday with jury selection in a courtroom on Plantation Key.
Without explanation, Judge Luis Garcia denied prosecutors’ request to move the trial to Key West, where the incident took place.
Derek David, 35, is charged with attempted second-degree murder for having wounded three men in the early morning hours of March 21, 2016.
Wounded were Brendan Boudreau and Reid Ogden, both of whom were airlifted to a Miami hospital with a single gunshot wound each, and Scott McBride, who was treated at and released from Lower Keys Medical Center.
Video surveillance from a Duval Street bar shows David shoving his wife Jodie David to the ground during a drunken tantrum. When strangers intervened in the domestic dispute, police said David pulled out a Ruger .380-caliber handgun and began firing.
David also allegedly pointed his gun at two men as he walked away from Duval. Police arrested him after stunning him with a Taser.
David’s case had been hung up in appeals as his defense attorneys argued he deserves the right to tap Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, which state lawmakers made even easier on suspects last year by shifting the burden to prosecutors to prove defendants can’t use it in court.
The Third District Court sided with Miller’s original ruling denying the Stand Your Ground defense.
At the time of the shooting, David and his wife were living on Sugarloaf Key and had gone to Key West for a night of entertainment.
David, who has said he has amnesia and a head injury from the incident, argued he had a right to protect his petite wife from strangers she clashed with after a night of drinking.
“The only danger of injury [the wife] faced that evening was her close proximity to [two bystanders] at the time Defendant discharged his weapon,” Miller wrote in a stinging 18-page ruling in February.
David has been free on $582,500 bond.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen