Dominion of New York

The 411

March 28, 2012

What Charges Will Zimmerman Face? The Prosecutor’s Record Suggests Manslaughter.

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Written by: Kelly Virella


ast month, when the world was just beginning to hear Trayvon Martin’s story, another black man was gunned down in Florida by a white man man claiming self-defense. Only this time the killer was arrested. And what’s even more interesting is the identity of the state’s attorney whose office pressed charges against the killer. That state’s attorney was Angela Corey, the new special prosecutor appointed by Florida’s governor to oversee the Trayvon Martin investigation.

In an interview with the Palm Beach Post, Corey said about the other killing: “We have charged that man.” She added: “And he’s claiming self-defense, claiming he was in fear. We charged him. And if he fights it on Stand Your Ground, we’re going to fight back.”

Corey is the state’s attorney for Jacksonville Florida, where that killing occurred. Her willingness to charge that killer suggests that she would also be open to charging Zimmerman, if she finds that the facts warrant it. During her interview with the Palm Beach Post, she addressed the assaults on Trayvon Martin’s character:  “Sometimes the people murdered aren’t innocent, sometimes they’re drug dealers — sometimes they put themselves in harms way,” she said. “And you know what? We fight just as hard for them.”

The mother of a Jacksonville murder victim spoke highly of Corey to the Palm Beach Post: “When my son was killed, (Corey) was there for me,” said Beverly McClain, who runs a support group for families of murder victims in a predominantly black section of Jacksonville. “She’s going to do the right thing. It’s in her. She doesn’t have a choice.”

At the same time, Corey has sent many black teenagers to prison as adults, a fact that troubles some of her critics and makes them ridicule her as unsuitable for the case, the Post reports.

The murder that Corey’s office decided to charge occurred March 16 in a parking lot. The victim, Kahron Ali Warnke, and the shooter, Brad Lippincot, got into a road-rage argument. The particulars of that argument have not been publicly revealed. But police say Lippincott pulled out a gun and shot Warnke several times, while Warnke’s 8-year-old daughter was in the backseat, according to the Florida Times-Union. At least one news outlet is reporting that Warnke also fired shots at Lippincot.  Warnke drove off, but lost consciousness about a block away, and crashed into a home. His daughter survived the crash.

Lippincott called 911 to report the shooting and claimed self-defense. But Corey’s office charged him with manslaughter with a firearm, with shooting from a vehicle and shooting from an unoccupied vehicle, First Coast News reports. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison.

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About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.


Official portrait from his tenure as US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.