Accused Uber driver takes the stand in his defense

An Uber driver accused of raping a passenger he picked up at SunFest last year took the stand Wednesday in his own defense.

On Tuesday, his accuser told the jury the brutal assault started in the car and then Gary Kitchings forced his way into her home where he allegedly raped her.

During Wednesday’s trial, Kitchings testified the sex was consensual.  He said the woman started flirting with him in the car and invited him into her home.

"After she asked me if I was married, she took her elbow and kind of nudged me and she asked me if I cheat. So, the first time she touched me was kind of bumping me with her elbow in a playful way," Kitchings said on the stand.

Kitchings will be back on the stand Thursday for the state to question him.

Tweets by AlyssaHymanWPTV

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Stand your ground defense denied for Jupiter hate crime suspect

A Palm Beach County judge denied the stand your ground defense for a Jupiter man charged with murdering a Guatemalan man in an alleged hate crime.

Judge Samantha Schosberg-Feuer denied David Harris’s motion to dismiss charges against him based on the “stand your ground” defense.

Officials say Harris, along with his brother Jesse Harris and another person, Austin Taggart, killed Onesimo Marcelino Lopez-Ramos outside a Jupiter home after a fight on April 18, 2015.

Schosberg-Feuer said in a 15-page ruling Friday that she denied him immunity from charges because she found the state showed his use of force during the 2015 fight was not justifiable.

In the ruling, Schosberg-Feuer said she believes the new change in Florida law that shifts the burden of proof from the defendant to the state applies retroactively and applies to thi…

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Judge to rule in ‘Stand your Ground’ defense for Jupiter hate crime suspect

A Palm Beach County judge is expected to rule if a man accused killing a Guatemalan man in an apparent hate crime was actually defending himself.

The third and final hearing for David Harris’s motion to dismiss charges against him based on the “stand your ground” defense from the 2013 case wrapped up Tuesday.

Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer said she will issue a written order on whether or not she believes Harris is immune from prosecution.

“I hope for the judge to be fair and go over the evidence thoroughly. If she decides that David has immunity, he’ll be set free,” said Franklin Prince, Harris's attorney.

Prosecutors for the state said they felt Harris was the initial aggressor, pointing out that Harris did not call 911 after the attack.

“This is in no way shape or form a stand your ground immunity,” said Palm Beach…

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‘Stand your ground’ defense hearing continues for Jupiter hate crime suspect

JUPITER, Fla. - A hearing to determine if a man accused of killing a Guatemalan man in an apparent hate crime was actually defending himself will continue into a third day.

Jupiter Police say David Harris, along with his brother Jesse Harris and another person, Austin Taggart, killed Onesimo Marcelino Lopez-Ramos on April 18, 2015.

David Harris is now claiming self-defense, arguing the killing falls under the “stand your ground defense.” The hearing began in December, and continued Tuesday in Palm Beach County court.

“David Harris was defending himself and his brother,” said Franklin Prince, Harris’ attorney. “When they found the boy, he was laying on top of a three-inch metal pipe that he was swinging at my client.”

Police reported the boys saying they were going “Guat hunting” the night of the murder. Harris testified tha…

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