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BSO deputy claims self-defense for shooting man with air rifle

Peter Peraza seeks to dismiss case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Broward Sheriff's Office deputy charged with manslaughter for the 2013 shooting of a man carrying an air rifle is claiming self-defense and seeking dismissal of the case.

A hearing beginning Monday will test whether suspended Deputy Peter Peraza can invoke the "stand your ground" law in the fatal shooting of Jermaine McBean, 33. The law says a person has no duty to retreat in the face of a potentially lethal threat.

Authorities said Peraza was one of several deputies called to reports of a man carrying a rifle in July 2013, but it was later determined to be an unloaded pellet gun.

Deputies said McBean didn't obey commands to drop the weapon, but family members claim he was wearing earbuds and couldn't hear deputies.

McBean's family attorney, David Schoen, previously told Local 10 News that the autopsy proves that that Peraza's account of what happened doesn't add up and that McBean did not point the gun at Peraza and the two other deputies at the scene.

A motion filed by Peraza's attorney claims that a witness saw McBean "shrugging his shoulders like he didn't care what they were saying" instead of dropping the gun.

Peraza faces up to 30 years in prison if he is convicted. If his motion prevails, there will be no trial and the manslaughter charge will be dismissed.