Florida Man Claims ‘Self-Defense’ After Shooting Co-Worker 10 Times With Shotgun
A Florida man isn’t denying that he shot his co-worker 10 times with a shotgun – but he claims he only did it in self-defense.
Manuel Acosta, a 69-year-old Miami metal worker is currently on trial for shooting 50-year-old Jose Valdez back in May of 2010.
Police say Acosta reloaded his shotgun repeatedly and fired at least 10 blasts. Two of the shots hit Valdez, killing him.
His attorneys argue that the 5-foot-3, 125-poind Acosta had been bullied for years by the “giant” 423-pound Valdez.
“To save his own life, Mr. Acosta was forced to kill Mr. Valdez,” public defender Lauren Krasnoff told the jury.
The two had worked together at a six-person metal factory. Acosta worked at the factory for 15 years and lived in a trailer next to the facility with his four dogs. Valdez had worked at the factory for four years and slept in a room inside.
Acosta says Valdez “became an abuser” and bullied him and his dogs.
On the night of the shooting, Acosta says Valdez came after him with a glass bottle and “charged at him” while he was “cleaning his shotgun.”
Acosta says he “fought for his life” while prosecutors say Acosta pursued the unarmed Valdez “like a hunter stalking his prey.”
“Jose Valdez was on the ground begging for his life,” Prosecutor Paige Saperstein said.
Alfonso Vega, the owner of the factory, says Acosta never mentioned any abuse.
“They used to be talking every day, like normal people,” Vega told the courtroom. “They didn’t argue every day.”
Valdez faces life in prison if convicted.