This is not shocking. This is how the legal system works. The only way to avoid such a trial is for the prosecution not to initiate the case. That’s the real problem here, not the judge. At least the judge hasn’t proven to be a problem yet.
Self-defense is an affirmative defense. The defendant has the burden of establishing it. Probable cause for murder charges simply requires a decedent and a causal link between the death and the defendant. This man admitted that he fired his gun. A boy turned up dead. So here is your probable cause.
The prosecutor should not ethically file charges that they do not reasonably believe they will prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Although all that is really required from an ethical standpoint is probable cause. And here the probable cause abounds. The prosecutor should never have brought the case.
All states require Florida’s burden-shifting laws where there is a hearing the state must prove its case by clear and convincing evidence before even arresting the defendant.
Arguing the witness is not credible and there is conflicting evidence, etc., it is guaranteed that there will not be a judge starting your case for lack of probable cause. These are matters of fact. Questions of fact are for the jury to decide. Questions of fact are not decided before such a trial. When viewed in the light most favorable to the state, does the evidence support a finding of probable cause for the murder charges? Absolutely. The fact that the state can never meet a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard at a pretrial hearing (and probably at trial as well) is not a legal reason to dismiss the charges.
I’d love for this guy’s lawyer to argue that the centuries-old self-defense framework is unconstitutional. Because, according to SCOTUS, we have a new fundamental right to self-defense away from home with a firearm heretofore undeclared. This would be the ONLY fundamental right that has a presumption against its lawful exercise. And that cannot be constitutional. SCOTUS crap reasoning has consequences, and this is one of those consequences. The upside is that they may have forced the Florida framework into every state by doing this. It just takes some good defense attorneys to raise that issue.