Fort Myers family petitions governor for second review of fatal ‘stand your ground’ incident

Reporter: Lauren Sweeney
Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla. The family of a man killed in a south Fort Myers ‘stand your ground’ incident has requested Gov. Rick Scott to assign the case to another state attorney’s office and to present it before a grand jury.

Prosecutors in the 20th Judicial Circuit, which covers Southwest Florida, justified the March 2016 shooting death of Ryan Modell, 32, stating that James Steven Taylor, 45, acted in self-defense.

“At no point was Mr. Taylor reasonable in his claim of threat bodily injury, and never even tried to claim use of deadly force by Ryan,” said the letter, sent by attorney Mark O’Mara on behalf of Modell’s father, to Gov. Scott. “Accordingly, Mr. Taylor’s actions constitute a homicide.”

Ryan Modell was inebriated when he accidentally showed up at Taylor’s front door. Both men ended up in front of an adjacent home where Taylor shot Modell once in the chest.

While there were potential inconsistencies in Taylor’s story, there was no obligation for Taylor to stay in his home when he felt the need to protect his residence and wife, said Dan Feinberg, the assistant state attorney who reviewed the case.

Scott has not yet received the letter, the governor’s office said Monday.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.