The Office of the State Attorney concluded that the use of deadly force by a Citrus County Sheriff’s Office deputy was legally justified.
After a thorough review of the facts and circumstances of the case, Chief Assistant State Attorney Walter Forgie determined the deputy had a lawful right to act with deadly force because Steven Verdone was threatening the officer with a deadly weapon, repeatedly ignored commands to drop his weapon and threatened other witnesses to the incident. The deputy made multiple attempts to de-escalate the situation prior to using deadly force. An autopsy revealed Verdone had amphetamine, methamphetamine and alcohol in his system at the time of his death.
In an unrelated incident, the Office of the State Attorney concluded that the use of deadly force by a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy was legally justified.
Forgie reviewed the facts and circumstances of the incident and determined Marion County deputies had a lawful right to use deadly force when they responded to a call to Rick Lee Miller’s home. While holding a gun in his driveway, Miller walked toward multiple deputies. Deputies ordered Miller to drop the weapon, but he failed to comply with their repeated commands. As he continued to approach the deputies, Miller raised his right arm and pointed the gun at them. Deputies opened fire and fatally wounded the subject. When Miller ignored repeated commands from law enforcement to drop his weapon and approached deputies in a threatening manner while pointing a firearm at them, the fear that Miller would cause great bodily harm or death to the deputies was reasonable and the use of deadly force was authorized by Sections 776.05 and 776.012 of the Florida Statutes.