Florida man sentenced after killing Black man who was his alleged lover
Gardner Fraser said the shooting was in self-defense, claiming 'stand your ground' laws, but the victim's father believes it was a premeditated murder
A Florida man was sentenced to just one year in prison after he allegedly shot and killed a former lover.
Gardner Fraser was sentenced to one year in Macclenny, Florida’s Baker County jail on Monday in connection to the death of Dominic “DJ” Broadus II. The rural county is about an hour from Jacksonville. Fraser pleaded no contest to tampering with evidence.
Fraser, who is white, said the 2018 shooting was in self-defense, citing ‘stand your our ground’ laws. But prosecutors tell a different story. Fraser, the son of an ex-Baker County Sheriff’s Office deputy, supposedly disposed of the victim’s cell phone because it would expose their sexual relationship.
News4Jax says that after an investigation by the 4th Judicial Circuit, who took over the investigation to avoid any appearance of conflict due to Fraser’s connection to the sheriff’s office, the circumstances of the murder didn’t warrant further charges.
“We have conducted an extensive investigation into the death of Dominic Broadus, Jr. and declined to bring charges against Gardner Fraser for the shooting of Broadus,” David Chapman, communications director for the State Attorney’s office said in a statement. “This investigation has determined that Broadus showed up to Fraser’s private residence – an isolated property in the middle of a rural area — unannounced and uninvited. Fraser asserted that Broadus attacked him on the doorstep of his home.”
The statement continued, “The investigation has not generated evidence to disprove Fraser’s claim of self-defense. The evidence in this case, Fraser’s unwavering claims of self-defense, and Florida law do not provide support for homicide charges. We are ethically prohibited from instituting criminal charges that we cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”
In his defense, Fraser also claimed that Broadus, 31, attacked him without provocation.
“There was a struggle and it appears that it was a complete surprise that Mr. Broadus was there,” said his defense attorney James Sawyer.
But the phone’s disappearance raises some questions.
“This defendant took the actions to get rid of that phone,” said the Assistant State Attorney Mark Caliel, per News Jax 4. “Where it is, we don’t know, your honor. To this day only one person knows where DJ Broadus’ phone is, that’s Garner Fraser.”
Activists protested after Broadus’ death, which they say shows evidence of racial bias.
“It’s brought light on to what everyone already knows: The prejudice is here. The racism, that’s here. The favoritism, that’s here,” said Anita “Baker” McGoogin, who organized demonstrations in the area. “And just this case alone, tampering with evidence when he was blatantly executed on their property.”
Fraser’s father appeared with DJ’s sister on SiriusXM’s The Clay Cane Show to discuss his son’s killing.
“The real motive is not tampering with evidence,” Dominic Broadus Sr. said on the show on Jan. 26. “The motive behind destroying the phone is trying to hide his bisexual tendency and executing on my son, murder — premeditated.”
Fraser received the maximum time for tampering with evidence – one year in jail and four years of probation.
“It came as a surprise to us,” Dominic said in regards to his son’s sexuality. “That’s something we discuss as a family and you deal with as a family. You don’t have someone killed or executed because of that.”
“We still love DJ. We’ll always love DJ. You can’t judge a person based on their sexual nature,” Broadus Sr. said. “You got to base it on the content of their character. You don’t base it on these prejudices. We’ve got to start getting over that.”
Take a look at the full interview with Broadus’ father and sister below.
Earlier this month, the Broadus family filed suit against Fraser seeking $30,000 in damages in connection with Broadus’s death.
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