Judge visits where Customs and Border Protection agent was shot, killed

Police: James Wonder shot, killed Donald Petit in 2008

Author: Roger Lohse, Reporter, rlohse@Local10.com
Published On: Oct 29 2012 05:56:22 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 30 2012 10:11:25 AM EDT
James Wonder trial Monday
PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. -

A Broward judge visited the scene where a federal agent was shot and killed four years ago as he tried to determine if the killing was justified under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.

Judge Bernard Bober met with attorneys in the parking lot of the post office at Pines Boulevard and Dykes Road on Monday.

While there, they reviewed pictures of where U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agent Donald Petit was shot and killed in August 2008.

Bober is going to decide if James Wonder, 69, who police say shot Petit, killed him in self-defense or should face a jury on a charge of manslaughter.

Wonder said Pettit followed him into the post office that morning after they exchanged fingers in traffic during a road rage incident. The elderly dialysis patient claims he was in fear for his life when Pettit got out of his car and approached him. He said Pettit never identified himself as a law enforcement officer.

Wonder shot Petit in the head, fled the scene, and changed the color of his hair. He denied any involvement in the killing when he was tracked down by detectives the next day.

The only other witness to the shooting is Petit's daughter, who was 12 years old at the time. She was in the car and told investigators that he heard her father say to the man, "'Who do you think you are, slick?' And, then, 'boom.'"

Her videotaped interview with detectives will be among the evidence Judge Bober will review before determining if Wonder should be cleared of criminal charges or face a jury on one count of manslaughter with a deadly weapon.