If you do a quick Google search on Quentin Wyche, you will soon learn “the basics”: Allegedly Quentin Wyche threw a cookie or cookies at FIU football running back Kendall Berry’s girlfriend. Kendall Berry later found out about this went looking for Wyche and the proper amount of insults and recriminations were thrown back and forth till Wyche armed himself with a pair of scissors and stabbed Berry in the heart. Case closed.
Or is it? Here comes Lesson One: Do Not Trust The Traditional Media. They are in the News business, not in the truth business and will tailor any story the way that a) Makes more money, b) Cost less. c) fits their political agenda.
Why do I say this? I have seen this case on TV in the usual blurbs and quick hit stories, but the case caught my attention after reading this article from CBS 4 Miami where the defense attorney made a claim for self defense under Stand Your Ground. Whut? Two young healthy males, apparently of equal physiques in a fistfight that escalates into a stabbing? It is going to be hard to prove fear of Death or Grave Bodily Harm and thus self-defense. So I did a bit more of searching and fond out that lot of information was left out in the editing rooms across South Florida.
Out of all the sites I searched, the best information came out out of the Miami Herald documents site where a copy of the request for bail for Wyche was found. In it the lawyer argues that according to police interviews with the witnesses, Wyche’s confrontation with Berry was far from a calculated or even spur of the moment murder but self-defense.
Again and according to witness statements provided to the police (this is important since these statements were the same ones that the D.A. had in hand when deciding to prosecute the case) Berry not only sought Wyche but made his intent to go after him known to others. Wyche and Berry finally met at an intramural sporting event and “squared off” but it came to nothing at that moment and Wyche left the scene after 6 friends of Berry showed up. Berry and friends (7 people) took off after Wyche, “jumped him” and somehow Wyche retrieved a pair of scissors from his backpack and stabbed Berry. And here comes Lesson 2: Even if you follow the law, that is no guarantee that you will not be prosecuted. Even if Wyche did not purposely complied with the law, he did fill the requirements: he did not initiated the fight, he separated himself from the fight, he retreated (not required under current statutes but always a good thing to do) and only after he was followed and attacked by a superior number of individuals (disparity of force) he proceeded to defend himself. Wyche’s actions on face value more than comply with Stand Your Ground and yet, he got charged and is facing a hefty prison time if convicted.
Some will argue that Wyche’s actions to Barry’s girlfriend were high on the Sum Bucket Scale and I do not disagree one bit with that. In fact, Wyche committed assault upon that girl if he indeed “grounded” the cookie or cookies on her face. But that event had already passed and did not gave Berry any power to seek a personal redress by his own hand.
This case will probably be either dismissed on first instance or, if Wyche is found guilty will be thrown on appeal. But football players being involved and the sick reverence our community have for the sport I imagine is putting lots of pressure on the judge. Wyche might be a certified asshole and might have done more than a simple assault, but it is my opinion that he should not be found guilty in this particular case. The blame unfortunately rests with the victim for letting his emotions run his common sense and that takes us to Lesson 3: Ego can kill you. Probably the best course of action for this whole affair would have been to remain calm and for the girlfriend to press charges of assault upon Wyche. But trying to soothe a “bruised” male ego led to a path of death and untold pain for the families.
Obvious Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer or pretend to be one or even played one when I was a kid. These are just the observations of a lay person. Please take with a pound of salt and check with your lawyer.