GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- Over the past year, the eyes of lawmakers and attorneys from across the country have been focused on Florida's Stand Your Ground law.
On Wednesday, the case that sparked the national debate will be center stage once again, as Trayvon Martin's mother heads to Tallahassee to speak with local lawmakers about repealing the bill that her son's accused killer, George Zimmerman, is claiming in his defense.
"Stand Your Ground is pretty much one of the main conversations that's comes up at the coffee table," said Rick Sichta, a Jacksonville attorney who represents a Clay County man that was recently released from prison thanks to the law.
Jonathan Williams spent the past five years in prison for shooting and killing a neighbor who came to his house to collect a debt. Williams shot a second bullet that ended up in the leg of a bystander. Williams was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated battery. Sichta says Williams exercised his right to self-defense under Stand Your Ground.
"The Stand Your Ground law is Jonathan Williams' case. Without it, he would be doing the rest of his life in prison."
Last year, a judge overturned Williams' murder conviction, which knocked 20 years off his 40-year sentence. The same judge overturned his aggravated battery charge in November, which is a decision the state is now fighting with an appeal. A decision by the appellate court could lead to a new trial where Stand Your Ground would be center stage again.
"Because he shot and killed the first individual and it was justifiable, the ricochet bullet that hit the second person is also justifiable, and hence that conviction would also be reversed," said Sichta.
That means Jonathan Williams would be a free man again, if Martin's efforts to repeal Stand Your Ground are not successful.
"If anything changes in regard to this law, Mr. Williams could be in trouble."
Because the aggravated battery charge is in question, Williams was granted bond for the first time in December. He posted the $5,003 and is now out of jail, at least until a decision by the appeallate court. If he is granted a new trial, it could begin in six to eight months.
A pretrial hearing on the state's appeal is scheduled for Feb. 4 in Clay County.