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ESCAMBIA COUNTY - A man charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer is trying to use the Stand Your Ground defense. Keenan Finkelstein is accused of shooting Escambia County Deputy, Sergeant Shedrick Johnson March 2013.
Johnson was searching the neighborhood for a robbery suspect when he approached Finkelstein the night of the shooting.
In court Thursday, several witnesses shared their accounts of what happened when Sergeant Johnson was shot in the leg.
The case hinges on whether or not Johnson clearly identified himself as a law enforcement officer as he approached Keenan Finkelstein. Johnson testified that he saw Finkelstein walk out of the garage towards a van believed to be connected to the robbery. He says he aimed his gun and a flashlight at Finkelstein, announced he was a Sheriff's deputy, and ordered him to show his hands. At that moment, Johnson says he was shot in the leg.
Johnson says he didn't shoot first because he was unsure if Finkelstein was the suspect he was after.
Finkelstein's attorney questioned whether Johnson identified himself before the shooting happened which is critical to their Stand Your Ground.
State Attorney Bill Eddins says before Stand Your Ground the judge could dismiss the case for a lack of evidence, but now
"Under stand your ground, even if there is some evidence the judge gets to review the evidence on both sides and decide on the credibility of the evidence" said Bill Eddins, State Attorney.
The judge will review the evidence presented and depositions in the case. The court hearing continues on Friday.