A Georgia man, charged in a March 2015 shooting in the Apalachicola National Forest that left one man dead and another paralyzed, will remain tethered to an ankle monitoring device as he awaits trial.
On Sept. 12, Circuit Judge Charles Dodson denied a motion to remove GPS monitoring as a condition of release for Clark Mayers, 43, who was freed from jail in June 2016 and has lived with his mother in Milledgeville, Georgia ever since.
Mayers is charged with attempted first degree murder for having shot and killed Jacob “Smiley” Cardwell, from Golden Valley, Arizona, a man in his late 20s, at a March 2015 Rainbow Gathering, a loosely defined collection of people associated with hippie culture, being held in the forest.
He is also charged with aggravated battery with a firearm for shooting 26-year-old Wesley “Dice” Jones, now of Missouri, three times, once to his neck, rendering him a quadriplegic.
Mayers has invoked a “Stand Your Ground” defense, with his Tallahassee attorney, Richard H. Smith, contending he was in fear of his life after he confronted several of his fellow Rainbows over their burning of a tire in the early morning hours.
In March, Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled Mayers had not met his burden of proving “by the greater weight of the evidence” that he was justified in the use of deadly force. In his ruling, Lewis applied the greater weight of the evidence standard which existed in the law at the time of the shooting.
Last year, the Florida legislature changed the law to require prosecutors prove a defendant, by clear and convincing evidence, did not act justifiably in self-defense. In his ruling, Lewis also found that if the amended statute were to apply retroactively, “the state has not met its burden for proving by clear and convincing evidence that the (shootings were) not the result of the justifiable use of deadly force by the defendant.”
Smith has appealed Lewis’ ruling to the First District Court of Appeals. The case has been removed from Dodson’s docket until the appeals court issues its ruling.