Man Claims “Stand Your Ground” In Shocking Killing

Man Claims

( – As if 2021 wasn’t a wild enough ride already, it seems to be closing out just as crazy as it started. A Florida man faces up to five years in prison if proven guilty for the senseless murder of an iguana.

PJ Nilaja Patterson is accused of felony animal cruelty after security camera footage showed the man beating a 3-foot iguana to death over a 30-minute period. Even stranger still is his oddball defense.

Patterson’s public defender, Frank Vasconcelos, argued on the basis of “stand your ground.” This law allows an individual to use deadly force in one’s own defense if they have a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm.

Vasconcelos argued that the iguana was hostile to Patterson and bit him. The man attempted to subdue the creature under the assumption it had injected him with venom and doctors would need it for the antidote.

While some iguanas possess extremely weak venom glands, they are not generally considered harmful to humans. In fact, they tend to flee humans and other large predators.

Iguanas are a common and invasive species in Florida. Yet, residents can kill the creatures in humane and quick ways. Animal control, who became involved in the incident, argued that what Patterson did to the lizard was by no means humane or eligible for the “stand your ground” defense. Needless to say, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen rejected the outrageous claim.

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