Judge to allow use of new self-defense law in death of former Bull
After a win over Florida A&M in September of 2015, former USF football player Elkino Watson died of stab wounds during a fight in Ybor City, according to Tampa Police.
The man who allegedly stabbed Watson, Randolph Graham, has been charged with second-degree murder, but intends on appealing the charges using Florida’s new “stand your ground” law.
In the past, it was the defense’s job to prove self-defense was necessary. However, under the new “stand your ground” law, it is up to prosecutors to prove self-defense was not necessary.
As a result of the law change, Senior Circuit Judge J. Rogers Padgett heard arguments from a prosecutor and Watson’s defense attorneys Wednesday regarding whether the new law could be used retroactively in Graham’s case. He ruled it could.
Florida law says a person has no duty to retreat when faced with a violent confrontation and can use deadly force if he or she fears great bodily harm or death.
Graham, who is 5-foot-6 and weighs 140 pounds, was significantly smaller than Watson, who stood at 6-foot-2 and weighed 290 pounds. Due to Watson’s size superiority, the defense motion stated that Graham was forced to act “in order to prevent great bodily harm” to him and his friends, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The hearing will be held Aug. 29-30.
USF men’s basketball non-conference schedule released
USF announced its non-conference men’s basketball schedule Monday. It includes nine home games and four away games in coach Brian Gregory’s first season at the helm.
The Bulls will start their 2017-18 campaign against Florida Atlantic, Morgan State and Stetson before playing in the Hoosier Tip-Off Classic against Indiana in Bloomington, Indiana.
The average RPI, a measurement used to rank sports teams based on a team’s wins, losses and its strength of schedule, of USF’s non-conference opponents is 259 out of 351 eligible teams. USF’s current RPI is 317, the worst in the AAC.
Arkansas State is the only non-conference opponent of the Bulls who won more than 20 games last season and will play USF at the Sun Dome on Friday, November 24.
Commits pouring in for Strong
In June alone, five football players committed to play for USF in 2018.
The group of five includes Jajuan Cherry, Trey Laing and Brad Cecil, who are three-star recruits according to 247 Sports, as well as Gerald Jackson and Octavious Battle, who are not yet rated.
Tuesday, Atlanta native Antonio Grier committed to the Bulls, making him the class’ seventh player overall and second from the state of Georgia according to 247 Sports.