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Brevard County deputy tries to prove he stood his ground in 2016 deadly shooting

Posted March 8, 2019

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —A former Brevard County Sheriff’s deputy was in court on Friday for a stand your ground hearing related to the fatal shooting of a man during an alleged road rage incident.

Yousef Hafza is charged with second-degree murder in the 2016 fatal shooting of Clarence Howard, 25.

The two men were involved in an alleged road rage incident in 2016 while Hafza was off-duty. Hafza told investigators in an audio-recorded statement that Howard later charged him on foot.

The stand your ground motion heard Friday described Howard and the other man involved, Jose Montanez, as bigger than Hafza, and gang members, according to two gang identification experts.

Montanez took the stand during the hearing Friday to describe the events leading up to the shooting.

Montanez testified that he was driving when Hafza nearly hit him with his car. He said he went after him, intending to have just a verbal confrontation, because people “die that way all the time.”

Montanez said Hafza never identified as an officer, and did not give them a chance to retreat. According to Montanez, Hafza got out of his car and just began shooting.

After a recess, the defense began to cross examine Montanez in an effort to establish that he trailed Hafza for four miles with the purpose of confronting him.

Defense attorneys claim Montanez tried to run Hafza off the road and box him in at a stop sign as a response to the initial near-accident.

During Friday's hearing prosecutors played a 911 call in which Hafza said "I had two guys try to attack me. I shot one of them."

The hearing will continue at a later date when the defense will be able to present it's case.

If the judge sides with Hafza, instead of facing trial or possibly life in prison, he'd be released.

Copyright © 2019,Wesh

Source: Wesh Channel 2

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