Meggs: Fasbenner homicide justified

Bubba Fasbenner’s grave Photo available for purchase

Bubba Fasbenner’s grave

Lois Swoboda
Published: Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 03:11 PM.

State Attorney Willie Meggs last week brought legal closure to the April 3 killing of Charles “Bubba’ Fasbenner, agreeing with Franklin County Sheriff Mike Mock that the homeowner had the right to use deadly force when the intoxicated 20-year-old walked into an Apalachicola front yard and advanced on the homeowner after being warned to leave.

In an Aug. 25 letter to Mock, Meggs said he believed “this homicide to be justified” after reviewing the sheriff’s investigative files, which included witness interviews and autopsy findings.

“Florida Statute 782.13 provides that a homeowner can defend his home, self, and others under this factual scenario,” Meggs wrote. “I commend your department for a detailed and thorough investigation.” In a follow-up letter to Mock Aug. 29, Meggs said the statute number he cited was incorrect, and that it should be 776.013, a law devoted to justifiable use of deadly force in the home.

In a three-paragraph summation based on his review of an extensive case file prepared by Detective Brett Johnson, Meggs recounted that Fasbenner entered the front gate of a fenced yard at 277 Timothy Simmons Road, where he was confronted by 24-year-old Ronald Joseph “R.J.” Page, who lives there with his mother, Joanna Page.

Toxicology reports showed Fasbenner’s blood alcohol level was 0.31, about four times the legal limit for driving. The drug screen also found a presence of hydrocodone, acetaminophen and methadone.

“Apparently, due to Mr. Fasbenner’s high level of intoxication, (he) did not respond and moved towards the homeowner,” wrote Meggs. “The homeowner had fired a warning shot into the ground near Mr. Fasbenner and rather than leaving the yard, Mr. Fasbenner started climbing the steps as evidenced by his blood on the second step.”

The blood on the porch steps was significant, given that the law defines a dwelling as “including any attached porch.” The law says “a person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.”



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