Billy Woodward is the Florida man who shot his unarmed neighbors and claimed he was “standing his ground.” For weeks, he and his three neighbors had been arguing over Woodward’s backyard chickens, which Woodward was forced to give up. On Labor Day 2012, words turned to taunts and ended in a deadly encounter. Woodward shot all three neighbors, killing two (Gary Hembree and Roger Picior).
Bruce Blake was the one who survived. Woodward fired more than 30 shots. Blake was shot 11 times in his driveway. According to the prosecutor, Woodward would have finished off Blake but he “ran out of ammo.” During Blake’s testimony at Woodward’s trial, Blake described himself as “drunken and stupid that night, and admitted baiting Woodward.” The defense claimed that before the shooting Hembree, Picior and Blake were heard conspiring to burn down Woodward’s home and allegedly made threats of rape against Woodward’s 12-year-old daughter. A judge threw out Woodward’s “stand your ground” claim.