Will Stand Your Ground exonerate Casado?

In defense of 31-year-old Luis Casado, St Augustine attorney Patrick Canan has petitioned the 7th Judicial Circuit Court for a “stand your ground” hearing arising from the shooting death of 37-year-old Adam Amoia in May 2021.  Casado has been charged with manslaughter and carrying a concealed firearm in the fatal shooting.  Casado was released from custody after posting a $52,500 appearance bond.

During the felony hearing, on the calendar for 9:00 a.m., November 14, 2022, Canan will argue before Circuit Judge R Lee Smith that Casado had a “reasonable fear for his life” and that deadly force was necessary to defend himself.

The Office of State Attorney R J Larizza released surveillance video to Historic City News of the deadly shooting in downtown St. Augustine.  The defense plans to play the surveillance video as justification for having the manslaughter charge against Casado dismissed. Because the altercation occurred at “an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption”, §790.06 (12)(a) 12 and (d) F.S. prohibited Casado from carrying a weapon or firearm — even though he has a license.

A toxicology report from the Medical Examiner found a blood alcohol concertation level of .266 at autopsy.  For comparison, that is more than three times the legal limit for driving in Florida.  The report also found the narcotic pain killer hydrocodone and marijuana in Amoia’s system.  Casado’s lawyer notes that his client has no prior criminal history, but that both Amoia and another man, whose involvement is shown in the video, do.

  • Casado was seen talking with several of Amoia’s friends outside the bar, a conversation the petition says did nothing to incite rudeness or violence” and “was of no real significance and certainly nothing threatening.”  

The petition says “Amoia, drunk and leaning on the wall, suddenly became aggressive and insisted that Casado leave immediately.”  Before he had a chance to “make sense of Amoia’s bizarre request,” Casado claims Amoia shoved him, hit him in the face, and knocked off his glasses rendering him legally blind.  

  • Casado alleges that Amoia and the other man began to violently attack him, suddenly and in concert, for no apparent reason.  The petition filed by Canan states the other man punched Casado, followed by Amoia hitting him in the face four more times.  Casado “found himself forced up against a wall,” according to allegations contained in the court documents.

It was after Amoia hit Casado two more times, that “he was afraid for his life and shot his firearm to prevent serious bodily injury or even death.”  The petition points out the sequence of events took only 15 seconds and was caught on surveillance video.


Loved ones came together in April on what would have been Amoia’s’ 38th birthday.  They gathered to share memories at their family-owned restaurant, Georgie’s Diner on Malaga Street.  From there, the group walked to the scene of the shooting on Hypolita Street, holding candles, signs, and photos of Amoia.  Their destination, Dos Gatos, was near the intersection of Cordova Street but has since closed.