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State responds, objects to Nouman Raja motion to dismiss over 'Stand Your Ground' law

Posted at 2:02 PM, Mar 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-27 23:47:46-04

Update: The motion hearing on Raja's "Stand Your Ground" defense claim has been postponed until May. It was previously scheduled for March 27.

Raja's attorney filed an emergency motion asking prosecutors for new evidence allegedly filed in the case.

Original story: Prosecutors have responded and objected to former Palm Beach Gardens Police officer Nouman Raja's motion to dismiss charges against him on the basis of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.

A two-day hearing will start Wednesday over the motion, and determine whether the trial will move forward.

Raja is charged with manslaughter and attempted murder in the shooting death of local drummer Corey Jones. It happened at the PGA Boulevard exit off Interstate 95 in October 2015.

SPECIAL SECTION: The death of Corey Jones

Lawyers for Raja filed the motion in January, claiming that, "This is a classic case of self-defense. Officer Raja faced a man who pointed a gun at him, and did what any citizen is entitled to do: he defended himself."

In their response, prosecutors strongly disagree with the basis of the claim, writing, "There is no credible evidence that the defendant identified himself as a law enforcement officer. The defendant violated direct orders relating to the execution of his plain-clothes detail. Thee defendant was at all times the initial aggressor and created the events that led to the killing of Corey Jones."

Prosecutors also point out discrepancies between what Raja told an advisor after the shooting and a sworn statement given during the investigation.

And they further point out that the "Stand Your Ground" law was not yet in effect at the time of the shooting and that no Florida district court of appeal has ruled on whether the law could be enforced retroactively.

Earlier this month, prosecutors released new video that shows Raja telling investigators his version of events hours after the deadly shooting.

Read the state's full response and objection to dismiss on the basis of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law below.