- Jorge Saavedra, 15, stabbed and killed 16-year-old Dylan Nuno after an unprovoked attack
- Saavedra was originally charged with manslaughter in juvenile court
- A Florida judge now rules that Saavedra’s actions were legal because he was acting in self-defense
A Florida teen is now immune from civil and criminal charges in his classmate’s death, a judge ruled this week.
Jorge Saavedra, 15, “had more than enough reason to believe he was in danger of death or great bodily harm” from 16-year-old Dylan Nuno, in January of 2011, Judge Lauren Brodie said.
Court documents show Nuno had been harassing Saavedra for months, so much so that Saavedra brought a knife with him to school in Collier County, Florida. Witnesses say Nuno launched an unprovoked attack on Saavedra at the bus stop January 24. That’s when Saavedra stabbed and killed Nuno.
Saavedra was originally charged in juvenile court with manslaughter. But the judge ruled that according to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, his actions were legal because he was acting in self-defense. A majority of states have some sort of self-defense law, but it usually only applies in one’s own home. Five years ago, Florida expanded their law to include just about anywhere a person has a right to be.
Nuno’s father, Renier Nuno, told the Ft. Myers News-Press that the judge’s decision will only encourage more students to arm themselves. “If my son had a gun, he would be alive today. My son didn’t even have a rock or a stick,” he said.
Saavedra’s father, Jorge Saavedra Sr., spoke through his attorney, Donald Day, saying, “I’m relieved it’s over, but we feel horrible that this ever happened and it will have a serious, lifelong effect on our son.” Day added, “There really are no winners out of this today. It’s a tragedy all the way around.” Saavedra is undergoing counseling and will not return to Collier County after his release, according to his attorney.
The State Attorney’s office won’t appeal. Officials with the Collier County School District told our affiliate WINK they would not comment until they have read the ruling.
Victim: Dylan Nuno (killed)
The accused: Jorge Saavedra
Case type: Teenage bullying
Case year: 2011
Location details: School bus stop in Golden Gate Estates, Collier County, on Jan. 24, 2011
What happened: Jorge Saavedra, 14, fatally stabbed Dylan Nuno, 16, at a school bus stop. Saavedra had gotten off the bus early trying to avoid a fight. Testimony showed that Saavedra, who claimed Nuno bullied him and teased him about his learning disabilities, was trying to get away from Nuno and a group of his friends when he was punched in the back of the head. Witnesses said he continued to try to get away. But soon he took out a pocketknife and stabbed Nuno 12 times. One of the thrusts nicked Nuno’s heart. Both boys were students at Palmetto Ridge High School.
The outcome: The judge granted immunity under “stand your ground.” “The defendant was in a place where he had a right to be and was not acting unlawfully,” Collier County Circuit Judge Lauren Brodie wrote. “He had more than enough reason to believe he was in danger of death or great bodily harm.”
Investigating agency: Collier County Sheriff
Case decision made by: Judge
Trayvon Martin’s death became controversial because circumstances leading up to the shooting cast doubt on who was to blame. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed other “stand your ground” cases for similar circumstances. The Times relied on available information, some of which may not tell the whole story. When the situation was unclear, that was noted.
|Did the victim initiate the confrontation?|
|Was the victim armed?|
|Was the victim committing a crime that led to the confrontation?|
|Did the defendant pursue the victim?|
|Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?|
|Was the defendant on his or her property?|
|Did someone witness the attack?|
|Was there physical evidence?|