Local News

Woman fires warning shots then shoots boyfriend

— A woman who fired two warning shots at her boyfriend and then shot him in the leg during a dispute has yet to face any charges, authorities said.

But the boyfriend, Akinkawon Hawthorne, 18, no address given, was charged with misdemeanor battery.

The victim told authorities that Hawthorne attacked her and that she feared for her life, an arrest report said.

The report notes that “there are several documented domestic violence related incidents that have occurred between the victim and the defendant. While speaking with the victim, I (the deputy writing the report) observed several newer and older injuries on all parts of her body.”

The report comes in the wake of the Florida Legislature approving a so-called warning shot bill and sending it to Gov. Rick Scott. The bill would grant immunity to anyone with a clean criminal record who fires a warning shot or threatens to use deadly force in self-defense, according to a Miami Herald report.

The legislation was prompted by the case of a Jacksonville woman sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing a shot near her husband during a domestic dispute.

The woman had sought immunity under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, but a judge rejected that. Since then, the woman was released from prison on bond, pending a new trial, according to published reports.

In the Highlands County case, when asked whether the Stand Your Ground law or the warning shot bill was a factor in the decision whether to charge the woman, Nell Hays, public information officer for the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, said the only thing she could say was no charges have been filed against the woman.

When deputies arrived at the scene, the woman told them that her boyfriend questioned her about her activities all day, an arrest report said.

The woman told authorities that during the argument she retrieved her gun before her boyfriend could get to it and that Hawthorne “aggressively charged her to the point where she felt fearful that he was going to beat her,” the report said.

“The victim stated she aimed way from the defendant and fired the gun twice. The victim stated these two shots clearly missed the defendant,” the report said.

After the warning shots, the report said, the woman accused Hawthorne of striking her in the chest, grabbing her with his left hand and then punching her in the eye.

The woman told authorities that she ran outside to the porch area, but he pursued and grabbed her, the report said.

That was when she shot him in the leg, the report said.


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