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The Key West Citizen
Parking lot shooter's attorneys to argue gag order
By By Ted Lund Keys Citizen,
Attorneys for alleged parking lot shooter Lloyd Preston Brewer III, are expected to argue in favor of a gag order on all parties involved during a Friday, Sept. 15, hearing.
Brewer is accused of shooting 21-year-old Garrett Hughes on the rear parking lot of the former Conch Town Liquor and Lounge following a day of drinking and watching the Superbowl last February.
Hughes was urinating on a building adjacent to the parking lot.
Judge Mark Wilson will entertain the motion beginning at 9 a.m.
Brewer’s lead attorney, Key West/New Jersey criminal defense specialist Jerry Ballarotto, seeks to stifle comment from the prosecution and high-powered Miami-based civil litigator Stuart Grossman and the victim’s family.
Grossman last month negotiated a significant financial settlement between Hughes’ family and the complicated network of family trusts controlled by Brewer.
The shooter’s family has significant real estate and business holdings in Monroe County.
Leading to the settlement, Grossman and his team had filed a 101-page victims’ memorandum in both the civil and criminal cases against Brewer under Marsy’s Law.
Marsy’s Law is a legal initiative to strengthen crime victims’ rights within the United States. It is named after Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas, a California woman murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 1983.
Created by her brother, Dr. Henry Nicholas, the law addresses a lack of support and protection for crime victims.
Under Marsy’s Law, victims have the right to be notified of important events in their case, such as the release of the accused or the scheduling of court hearings, to ensure victims are aware of developments related to them.
It also grants victims the right to participate in court proceedings and be heard during bail hearings, plea negotiations and sentencing. The law gives victims a voice in the criminal justice process and allows them to express their concerns and preferences.
Grossman’s 101-page victims’ memo on behalf of the Hughes family did precisely that, detailing their position on both the civil and criminal sides of the court.
On Tuesday, Sept. 12, Ballarotto filed a 54-page list of exhibits the defense plans to use in arguing for the gag order.
The list includes articles from The Keys Citizen and the Miami Herald and a gag order issued against Ballarotto in the unrelated “Tree House” murder case at the request of Monroe County State Attorney Dennis Ward.
Brewer remains in custody without bail at the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island.
Thus far, his defense team has failed to schedule an Arthur hearing to determine if Brewer could be released on bail before his trial.
The defense has also said it intended to file a change-of-venue motion in the past, but that has yet to come to fruition.
Although the defense claims Brewer acted in self-defense, no Stand Your Ground hearing has been set.
In Florida, a Stand Your Ground hearing is a legal proceeding that can occur in criminal cases where a defendant claims self-defense under the state law.
During the hearing, defense attorneys argue that their clients should be immune from prosecution because they were acting in self-defense and had a reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm.
If the judge agrees with the defendant’s argument, the charges may be dismissed and the defendant granted immunity from prosecution.
Brewer’s next pretrial conference is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 3, at 9 a.m.