There is an tragic road road case out of Florida where two middle aged men that led to a shooting. Robert Eric Doyle, 51, was arrested for the murder of Candelario Gonzalez, 44. What is different about this case if two fold. First, both cars were on the telephone with 911 during the chase and shooting — all of which was recorded. Second, the primary witnesses that could contradict both drivers are the respective wives of the drivers.
Doyle called 911 to tell the police that there was “some maniac” chasing him and that he had his gun “cocked and loaded.” Around the same time, the wife of Gonzalez called to say that her husband was following a man in the streets of Beverly Hill, Florida. Both stayed on the line. Both women showed far more judgment than their respective husbands.
Gonzalez’s wife can be heard begging him to go home. However, she said that her husband was following him to get his address (it is not clear why his license plate and make would not be enough). For his part, Doyle made repeated reference to his gun and his willingness to use it: “They’re following me to my house. I’ll be there in 20 seconds; the guns are already out.” When the cars stopped in front of Doyle’s house, the dispatcher could hear Doyle’s wife begging him not to shoot. Doyle shot Gonzalez and then reportedly held the Gonzalez family at gunpoint.
While Doyle has a concealed weapons permit, he has been charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
We previously discussed the impact of Stand Your Ground laws in Florida as well as so called Castle Doctrine or Make My Day laws. The fact that Doyle would wait to confront the other driver outside of his house is an interesting element. It could be viewed as enhancing his defense that he was in fear for his life. Like the Zimmerman case (another second degree murder case), the belief that one’s life is in danger can prove a difficult standard for prosecutors to overcome.
The Castle Doctrine law in Florida presents a couple of tricky elements for both sides. If Doyle was hoping to have the encounter at his home for use of this defense, he would have to argue that the cars were technically within the gambit of law, i.e., part of his domicile. That has been done in other cases where a driveway was treated as part of a home. He would also have to show that he believed Gonzalez was in the process of forcibly entering his home or trying to pull Doyle out of his home. The law also extends to an effort to enter a vehicle. Below is the standard. It is important to remember that Doyle can simple argue self-defense or stand your ground without the use of the Castle Doctrine.
Regardless of the defense, the chief witness for the prosecution will be Doyle’s own wife or at least her recorded voice begging him not to shoot Gonzalez. She appears not to have been in fear of her life but rather in fear of the actions of her own husband. That could be the key to the case since the family of Gonzalez is likely to be heavily in favor of the prosecution’s theory. There is a spousal privilege in Florida though that would not stop the use of the 911 tape. Here is the spousal privilege provision:
90.504 Husband-wife privilege.—
(1) A spouse has a privilege during and after the marital relationship to refuse to disclose, and to prevent another from disclosing, communications which were intended to be made in confidence between the spouses while they were husband and wife.
(2) The privilege may be claimed by either spouse or by the guardian or conservator of a spouse. The authority of a spouse, or guardian or conservator of a spouse, to claim the privilege is presumed in the absence of contrary evidence.
(3) There is no privilege under this section:
(a) In a proceeding brought by or on behalf of one spouse against the other spouse.
(b) In a criminal proceeding in which one spouse is charged with a crime committed at any time against the person or property of the other spouse, or the person or property of a child of either.
(c) In a criminal proceeding in which the communication is offered in evidence by a defendant-spouse who is one of the spouses between whom the communication was made.
Absent the wife’s voice, a stronger defense case could be built on the extraordinary act of Gonzalez following Doyle for so long. That would be viewed as threatening by many and his getting out of his car and approaching Doyle could be used by the defense to support a claim of reasonable fear. But then there is that voice of Doyle’s wife in the background. She is not asking Gonzalez not to harm her husband but asking her husband not to kill Gonzalez.
Chapter 776: JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE
776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.—
(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using or threatening to use defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force was used or threatened was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
(b) The person who uses or threatens to use defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.
(2) The presumption set forth in subsection (1) does not apply if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force is used or threatened has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner, lessee, or titleholder, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person; or
(b) The person or persons sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used or threatened; or
(c) The person who uses or threatens to use defensive force is engaged in a criminal activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further a criminal activity; or
(d) The person against whom the defensive force is used or threatened is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using or threatening to use force knew or reasonably should have known that the person entering or attempting to enter was a law enforcement officer.
(3) A person who is attacked in his or her dwelling, residence, or vehicle has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and use or threaten to use force, including deadly force, if he or she uses or threatens to use force in accordance with s. 776.012(1) or (2) or s. 776.031(1) or (2).
(4) 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.
(5) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.
(b) “Residence” means a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest.
(c) “Vehicle” means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2005-27; s. 4, ch. 2014-195.
60 thoughts on “Wives In Lethal Florida Road Rage Case Could End Up Offering Evidence Against Their Respective Husbands”
omg you are confused by this? If there was ever a ‘spouse’ privilege…nothing was said in ‘confidence’ to her ….by spouse ….the whole underpinning of the law. She invited a third party…and gave the play by play. If she can block that comm with not
her spouse….we have an accomplice. Third party. And he maybe able to invoke spouse privilege in FL….but this is a derivative….real time. So it wasn’t just him and his spouse and the operator can be called despite the tapes. Privilege destroyed real time is no privilege at all. It’s not her diary …electronic or not…it is real time third person so no privilege.
Thanks Paul. Some interesting information.
Why do all the nuts seem to live in Florida? Anyway, I give Doyle a break for driving home, he may have been so scared he thought home was the best place or he wasn’t thinking clearly. The dumb part was shooting someone, instead of going into the house.
The article is a little too vague, more detail is needed.
Rcocean – Gonzalez got out of his car and yelled threatening words at Doyle. The 911 operator told Gonzalez not to continue following him. We are not sure what instructions were given to Doyle.
David, Thanks for the inside info.
LOL DBQ. No wonder I can’t find a decent man here…they are all “Florida Man” crazy! Maybe it’s time to move 🙂
They don’t have the meme “Florida Man…..nation’s worst super hero” for no reason
Whoever this Florida Man is, he’s clearly insane and unstoppable. He feels no pain, has no ethics, and is capable of feats far beyond that of normal American man. It almost sounds like Florida Man is a superhero — just a really terrible one.”
@ Betty Kath
I think you need to re read the article.
Gonzalez…..they guy who got shot, was the one who was following Doyle home. Gonzalez could get a license plate number probably any time during the time he followed Doyle home. When they got to Doyle’s house is when Gonzalez got shot and killed.
There were many mistakes made and things that could have been done to prevent this.
Gonzalez 1. Don’t follow someone around in your car because you don’t know WHO they are. 2. Get the license # report it and go to the police.
OR…. Doyle: 1. Don’t go home. 2. Go to a public place or the police if you are fearful of the stalker. Let the police take care of this. That’s their job.
None of this, road rage, is worth taking a life or spending the rest of yours in jail.
Send that piece of ship to the chair or the gurney, what a moron.
If somebody is following you just drive to the local police station or state troopers barracks. That’ll get them off your back real quick and that way they won’t know where you live and you don’t have to shoot them.
All you Florida crackers, go get help before it’s too late. You’re the biggest bunch of fogging idiots I have ever encountered. Nothing good comes out of Florida including Jeb Bush.
Byron, I said the same thing and am from FLORIDA…we are not all mentally impaired!
Byron wrote: “All you Florida crackers, go get help before it’s too late. You’re the biggest bunch of fogging idiots I have ever encountered. Nothing good comes out of Florida including Jeb Bush.”
Hey now, you are stepping on my toes! I’m from Florida.
I actually live in the same town as these idiots. I know where they live on Desoto street. It is an impoverished and drug infested neighborhood. There may be more to this story than we know right now. Shooting someone in the back makes me very suspicious of something more than is being reported.
david m – I linked a news article upstream which described more of what was going on. It appears it was a road rage situation. Gonzalez followed the guy to his house and used threatening words. He was then shot in the shoulder and 4 times in the back. Must have a light trigger.
Getting a plate and calling it in is a good idea if you can read the plate. FL requires only a rear plate, therefore Gonzalos couldn’t do that. But he sure didn’t have to go home.
bettykath – why couldn’t Gonzalez give them the plate number, actually it was his wife calling 911? He was the following driver.
Hans und Franz don’t like no girly men, right Paul?
I agree with Shannon [except about the girlie men].
There were many ways that this whole thing could have been prevented. Maybe they should have had their wives driving 🙂
More correctly, should be “regardless”. Ah I see Paul, explanation accepted.
Paul, you made your comment about only women advocating going to the police station at 1:09 PM to DBQ. The male species to whom I am referring made his comment @11:40 AM. I believe 11:40Am comes before 1:09PM, LOL. All time stamps here go by Eastern time irregardless of where YOU live.
Inga – I go through my emails and I did not get to the girlie man’s comment when I commented. I answer the comments as I get to them.
Paul , I think you missed a certain male species upstream @11:40 AM who advocates going to the police department, unless maybe you are calling him a girlie man?
What the &8ck does that have to do with anything? We’ll file that one in the lame/losing argument file as well.
Ha! I thought I was the only one who wondered what that had to do with anything…then I thought perhaps it’s a “male” thing so I let it go. I see it had nothing to do with gender!
Inga – I made my comment before the girlie man chimed in.
Here is an article on the incident. It appears it was road rage. There seems to be even more to the story.
Sounds premeditated to me. Of course the deceased had a lack of judgement in following with his whole family in the vehicle but he didn’t deserve to be shot or die! Doyle could have retreated…he wanted to shoot this guy. By the way, girlie men are fabulous!
Shannon – it just proves the old saying there is somebody for everybody. 😉
LOL. Neither of these two would have made the long list, much less the short one! 😜
That may be true but guys are beaten near to death outside of baseball games, football games, hockey games, and on and on and on. The sad fact of the matter is that you don’t need to be anywhere in particular in the US to be beaten, shot, knifed and/or robbed. Much of this goes on in other countries but the US is, proportionate to its population, a dangerous place with some 18th Century concepts. If soccer or football as it is more correctly known, was the only major sport in the US, well, you can imagine.
Your comment goes in the lame/losing argument file.
issac – from the Toronto Sun
And if you go to today’s paper you will find the found the body of a missing girl
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