A former Brevard County deputy facing second-degree murder charges was in court all day Friday for a "stand your ground" hearing.
Investigators said that in June 2016, in a fit of road rage, he nearly hit a car. After arguing with the people inside the car, he shot a passenger.
Nearly every seat in the courtroom was taken Friday as testimony was heard from law enforcement officers, as well as a key witness in the case.
"I was fearing for my life," said witness Jose Montanez.
Montanez was in the car with 22-year-old Clarence Howard during the incident with former Deputy Yousef Hafza.
Detectives said Hafza shot and killed Howard.
Hafza is facing a second-degree murder charge for the shooting of Howard, but Hafza is claiming self-defense using Florida’s “stand your ground” law
Hafza told Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents that Howard came running toward him aggressively and turned and reached for his waistband, which made Hafza fear for his life.
Special Agent Ryan Bliss, with FDLE, interviewed Hafza shortly after the incident. On the stand Friday he recounted what Hafza told him.
Records show Hafza was off duty at the time of the shooting.
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Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com