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Confidential Settlement Reached in Wrongful Death Claim

PLANTATION — On February 8, 2008 according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, a landscaper was cutting Lee Macon’s lawn when Jerome Jackson came out of his house and tried grabbing the lawn mower. Macon and Jackson began fighting, then Macon pulled a gun from the waistband of his pants and fired several shots, fatally wounding Jackson. The dispute was over a property line and the concern that Macon was encouraging his landscapers to encroach upon and cut the grass too short in his neighbor’s yard.

Danielle Jackson, the adult daughter of Jerome Jackson lost her father that day over a dispute between neighbors that turned deadly. She contacted Sam Coffey to learn about her rights and get answers about her fathers death.

A wrongful death lawsuit was initiated and a trial date was set for early 2010 in the Broward County Circuit Court. Macon and his insurer took the position that Jerome Jackson was an aggressor and that Macon was simply standing his ground justifying the use of deadly force because he allegedly feared for his life from a man who was not armed. Amazingly, Macon testified before a Grand Jury and criminal charges were not filed against him by the State Attorney’s office. However, Jerome Jackson was not able to tell his side of the story.

Florida law does recognize the use of deadly force under circumstances where one fears for their life. However, Macon should have never brought a gun to a dispute over a property line. In fact, Macon it was discovered was manipulating the placement of property line monuments to encroach on Jerome Jackson’s yard and instructing the landscapers to cut grass on his neighbor’s property. This infuriated Jackson who predictably came out of his home as the landscapers began their work. Macon waited with a handgun in his pocket presumably to scare Jackson. He was confronted by Jackson and Macon brandished his weapon.

Jackson responded irrationally by continuing to approach Macon who fired several times allegedly to scare him. Jackson was mortally wounded and lay on the sidewalk where he bled to death. Macon did not come to his aid or call for help. Instead, he ran into his house to hide his weapon.

As Sam Coffey was set to pick a jury Macon through his insurance company made a settlement offer. The case settled for a confidential amount of money in lieu of Macon facing trial by jury.

Sam Coffey stated that, “The burden of proof in the civil court system allowed Macon to be prosecuted even though no criminal charges were filed. This was an avoidable tragedy. Macon took the law into his own hands when a call to the police would have saved a life.”

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