FL - Sara Morales, 35, shot dead by motorcyclist she hit with car, Orange City, 20 Nov 2021

Cryptic

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He was reportedly yelling at her and pointing at her---but she was in her vehicle and he was on a cycle. He was not in a position to harm her in any way.
Objectively very true.

Applying the same level of objectivity to the three men, they had her license plate, and also had identified where she lived and.... had called the police.

Yet, Derr still had a further "conversation" with her as she entered her home. Objectively, there was no reason for Derr talk to her again about anything.

The fact that he spoke to her again as she was entering her home also implies that they were following her closely as in chasing.

Going subjective.... I wonder if Derr would have had the same tone of voice and eagerness to "converse" if Sara Morales had been say: Sam Morales, probably armed and wearing colors of the famous / infamous Outlaws 2% motorcycle group?

My guess is: "No". Likewise, I bet the other two riders would have quickly concluded that chasing "Sam Morales" anywhere was probably not a good idea.
 

Razz

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Objectively very true.

Applying the same level of objectivity to the three men, they had her license plate, and also had identified where she lived and.... had called the police.

Yet, Derr still had a further "conversation" with her as she entered her home. Objectively, there was no reason for Derr talk to her again about anything.

The fact that he spoke to her again as she was entering her home also implies that they were following her closely as in chasing.

Going subjective.... I wonder if Derr would have had the same tone of voice and eagerness to "converse" if Sara Morales had been say: Sam Morales, probably armed and wearing colors of the famous / infamous Outlaws 2% motorcycle group?

My guess is: "No". Likewise, I bet the other two riders would have quickly concluded that chasing "Sam Morales" anywhere was probably not a good idea.
She was a woman alone. Easy to pick on, and easy to bully. Could sexism be an issue here?
 

wary

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As soon as the license plate number was relayed to law enforcement, the chase is composed of one victim and three vigilantes.

Three vigilantes who could have waited on the sidewalk/curb/edge of public property until LE arrived.

OR empty an entire magazine into a human, if you are a vigilante.

jmho ymmv lrr

No, a hit-and-run driver is not
If she really did swerve into his motorcycle, in an attempt to knock him off his bike, then she was the one who escalated things. I can understand why he would want to follow her and have police come and investigate her actions.

She was inside her home, with 2 weapons, and the police on the phone with her. There was no need for her to go outside and confront them. They were on the sidewalk, not trying to enter her home. JMO

And getting a license plate number is no guarantee of finding the person who was driving the car.
 

GatorFL

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If the motorcycle was exceeding the legal speed, then the driver of that motorcycle is the criminal, not someone who made a legal lane change (assuming she used her blinker).

I don't know how fast he was going, but I often see motorcycle riders zipping by on "crotch rockets" doing what must be in excess of 100 m.p.h.

If he was driving that fast, then maybe she changed lanes in front of him in order to teach him a lesson or force him to slow down.
She was not a law enforcement officer and that is not how police stop someone from speeding. Your narrative makes it sound like she committed reckless driving, which is the willful disregard for the safety of another. That's a 2nd degree misdemeanor in FL: Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine
 

BeginnerSleuther

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How do you get away from someone by swerving into them with your car?

So picture this. Derr in the left lane, Morales in the right lane. Derr harassing her. She can't speed up very much because of the car in front of her. So she speeds up as much as she can and gets into the left lane to get away from him. Alternatively, say there's a middle lane and he's in the middle lane. She slows down and swerves into his lane in order to get to the left lane and pass him. We really don't know what her intent was and giving her intent when she isn't here to defend herself is victim blaming.

Isn't that the same thing as attempted murder

Not even a little bit. Look, if you're harassing me on the road, I don't care if you're on a motorcycle, a sedan, or a limo. I'm getting away from you. If he was so concerned about his life, then (a) he shouldn't have been speeding and (b) he shouldn't be harassing people on the road.

if you try to run into a motorcyclist with your car? That is a very aggressive move on her part.

Except you're assigning her intent without knowing what her intention was. If she was trying to kill him, it would have been fairly easy to do. Not only did she not kill him; she didn't even injure him (well, except his ego).

He was reportedly yelling at her and pointing at her---but she was in her vehicle and he was on a cycle.

So what? If some driver is aggressive enough to be speeding and then pull up and start yelling at me while he's supposed to be driving, you bet I'm going to try to get out of there. For all she knew, he was armed and ready to shoot at a traffic light. My answer is going to be to get out of there however I can and get safely home.

He was not in a position to harm her in any way.

Of course he was. Did you read the thread. I linked three separate stories of road rage incidents in which people got out of their vehicle to attack the person they felt slighted them. Just because he was on a motorcycle doesn't mean he couldn't have done the same.

Running her vehicle into him, almost knocking him over, is a very irresponsible act and I see no excuse for that, imo.

I mean, if we're going to victim blame here, then the excuse is that Derr shouldn't have been speeding and shouldn't have been harassing others on the road.

So he was speeding? Not that unusual for a motorcycle to go speeding past a vehicle. Poor driving skills on her part, to pull in front of a cycle speeding past in the next lane though. They were both at fault, imo.

No way. If he is speeding and she is changing lanes, her not seeing him is not poor driving on her part. It's actually reckless driving on HIS part. He was responsible for this, not her. She didn't do anything wrong until she made contact and that was AFTER he sped down the road. If I start going 70 in a 45 and another car changes lanes in front of me, guess who the cops will ticket. It won't be the other driver.

She had already retreated by going inside and locking her doors.

And yet, they didn't leave. So she comes outside. That isn't a crime, neither is waving her gun.

'Fighting' back against what? The 3 witnesses were outside on the public sidewalk, speaking to the police.

You know that in hindsight, but in that moment, she had no idea. What she knew is she's driving along and some jerk speeds down the roadway, then starts harassing her when she has the nerve to change lanes. Then, three of them start chasing her home. Her fear has been documented in real time, both to the cops and per her mom. She had no idea they were just going to wait there. She likely felt, as most people would, that her life was in danger at that point because quite literally no one does that unless they're looking for a fight. Derr already had her plate number. He didn't need to make a citizen's arrest. The fact that he chased her home tells me his intentions were not as pure as he'd like people to believe.

How is it 'victim blaming'? She was the one who introduced GUNS into the situation

THEY chased her home. You just don't do that. It's not reasonable. It's not logical. It's the action of someone who has lost emotional control.

She was the one that created the gun fight. There was no reason to do so. She deserves the criticism. It is not 'victim blaming' to criticise someone for greatly escalating a situation that was under control into a gun fight.

First, she had no idea anything was under control because Derr was very out of control. You and I can play Monday morning quarterback, but the facts were that you have a young pregnant woman being chased home by three men, one of whom has already been aggressive. How would she know this was under control? She came out, waved the gun in hopes of scaring them away. Instead he shot her 5 times.

I disagree that he shouldn't have followed her when she left the scene. He and two witnesses seemed to think she tried to knock him off his bike with a moving vehicle. I can't blame him for being upset.

But listen to what you just said. He was right to follow her home because he was upset? No. Just no. Vigilantism is not good, especially when he wasn't even injured. Some states outlaw you doing that actually. I don't know if FL is one of them. All he needed was her plates. He didn't need to chase her home.

She had no excuse for swerving her vehicle purposely into his motorcycle---she could have killed him or another motorist by doing so.

Again, you don't know that it was on purpose. No one does.

I don't understand why people are acting as though she was the total victim here. She escalated things so insanely, at least twice. None of this had to happen so tragically. JMO

Please read the thread. Every single person commenting on Morales's behalf has said that she shares the responsibility and if she were alive, both should have been charged. But she died, in part because of her actions but also because of his egregious behavior for which he should be criminally responsible.
 
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BeginnerSleuther

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She was not a law enforcement officer and that is not how police stop someone from speeding. Your narrative makes it sound like she committed reckless driving, which is the willful disregard for the safety of another. That's a 2nd degree misdemeanor in FL: Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

But it's not a capital offense and yet, she's dead because the other person in this scenario who isn't a law enforcement officer took the law in his own hands.
 

Ozoner

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So picture this. Derr in the left lane, Morales in the right lane. Derr harassing her. She can't speed up very much because of the car in front of her. So she speeds up as much as she can and gets into the left lane to get away from him. Alternatively, say there's a middle lane and he's in the middle lane. She slows down and swerves into his lane in order to get to the left lane and pass him. We really don't know what her intent was and giving her intent when she isn't here to defend herself is victim blaming.



Not even a little bit. Look, if you're harassing me on the road, I don't care if you're on a motorcycle, a sedan, or a limo. I'm getting away from you. If he was so concerned about his life, then (a) he shouldn't have been speeding and (b) he shouldn't be harassing people on the road.



Except you're assigning her intent without knowing what her intention was. If she was trying to kill him, it would have been fairly easy to do. Not only did she not kill him; she didn't even injure him (well, except his ego).



So what? If some driver is aggressive enough to be speeding and then pull up and start yelling at me while he's supposed to be driving, you bet I'm going to try to get out of there. For all she knew, he was armed and ready to shoot at a traffic light. My answer is going to be to get out of there however I can and get safely home.



Of course he was. Did you read the thread. I linked three separate stories of road rage incidents in which people got out of their vehicle to attack the person they felt slighted them. Just because he was on a motorcycle doesn't mean he couldn't have done the same.



I mean, if we're going to victim blame here, then the excuse is that Derr shouldn't have been speeding and shouldn't have been harassing others on the road.



No way. If he is speeding and she is changing lanes, her not seeing him is not poor driving on her part. It's actually reckless driving on HIS part. He was responsible for this, not her. She didn't do anything wrong until she made contact and that was AFTER he sped down the road. If I start going 70 in a 45 and another car changes lanes in front of me, guess who the cops will ticket. It won't be the other driver.



And yet, they didn't leave. So she comes outside. That isn't a crime, neither is waving her gun.



You know that in hindsight, but in that moment, she had no idea. What she knew is she's driving along and some jerk speeds down the roadway, then starts harassing her when she has the nerve to change lanes. Then, three of them start chasing her home. Her fear has been documented in real time, both to the cops and per her mom. She had no idea they were just going to wait there. She likely felt, as most people would, that her life was in danger at that point because quite literally no one does that unless they're looking for a fight. Derr already had her plate number. He didn't need to make a citizen's arrest. The fact that he chased her home tells me his intentions were not as pure as he'd like people to believe.



THEY chased her home. You just don't do that. It's not reasonable. It's not logical. It's the action of someone who has lost emotional control.



First, she had no idea anything was under control because Derr was very out of control. You and I can play Monday morning quarterback, but the facts were that you have a young pregnant woman being chased home by three men, one of whom has already been aggressive. How would she know this was under control? She came out, waved the gun in hopes of scaring them away. Instead he shot her 5 times.



But listen to what you just said. He was right to follow her home because he was upset? No. Just no. Vigilantism is not good, especially when he wasn't even injured. Some states outlaw you doing that actually. I don't know if FL is one of them. All he needed was her plates. He didn't need to chase her home.



Again, you don't know that it was on purpose. No one does.



Please read the thread. Every single person commenting on Morales's behalf has said that she shares the responsibility and if she were alive, both should have been charged. But she died, in part because of her actions but also because of his egregious behavior for which he should be criminally responsible.
Personally, I think that Derr proved that he was a threat when he was harassing her on his bike. I think that she would have been totally justified in running him off the road or running over him; it would have been self defense. We now know that he was armed; who's to say he wouldn't have shot her while they were both on the road?
 

GatorFL

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But it's not a capital offense and yet, she's dead because the other person in this scenario who isn't a law enforcement officer took the law in his own hands.
This is complicated case. There are apparently multiple crimes committed by Morales and perhaps by Derr.

I think the speeding is irrelevant because it was not clocked by laser or radar and so any report of speeding is anecdotal. I can't be sure but I don't think police in FL cite speeders based upon reports. They witness it and prove it through one of the devices I mentioned or by pacing the speeder. So, speeding is not going to be a part of this case.

She swerved into his lane, 100% a reckless driving charge. Additionally she contacted his motorcycle and did not pull over. That is leaving the scene of an accident.

He in turn broke the law by kicking her vehicle. Probably a careless driving charge, perhaps something else.

She went home and broke the law (so did her mother) by brandishing a gun.

Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

I am not sure if Derr broke the law by shooting her. I think that he had a reasonable fear for his life. She tried to run him off the road and contacted his bike. Adding in her brandishing a weapon and it is reasonable that he feared for his life and stood his ground. That is not taking the law into his own hands.

Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

You keep posting your thoughts without considering the laws, all of which I have posted for you both in this post and earlier in the thread. This is what the authorities have to work with, and nothing more.

I think it is a challenging case for the state attorney. It is easy to feel for Morales and her unborn. I certainly don't think this series of incidents should have resulted in her death. But at some level, we are all responsible for our actions and I don't think she has clean hands in this case.
 

Snoods

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She was a woman alone. Easy to pick on, and easy to bully. Could sexism be an issue here?
I thought so even before I read that after he killed her he twice complained to the police about her “yapping” at him. I doubt he would have said the same casually sexist remarks about “Sam” Morales. (It’s in the lengthy article that has kindly been posted several times in the last few pages.)
 

Warwick1991

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100% a crime in the state of FL, without a doubt. I shared the link for the statute in my other post.

Brandishing is only a crime in Florida if it is “not necessary in self defense,” per the statute. This situation is still ambiguous, with some facts yet to be determined. Depending on exactly what happened at the Morales home, a case could be made in favor of Morales for self defense.

Derr was on Morales’ property, and Florida “stand your ground” doctrine does not favor Derr, because he was not in a place where he had a right to be.
 

BeginnerSleuther

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This is complicated case. There are apparently multiple crimes committed by Morales and perhaps by Derr.

What are the multiple crimes that Morales allegedly committed? Even if we want to assign her ill intent, the only crime she committed was making contact with his motorcycle when she swerved. What else?

I think the speeding is irrelevant because it was not clocked by laser or radar and so any report of speeding is anecdotal.

Almost everything in this story is anecdotal and told us per witnesses. So if we're going to not take anecdotal information into consideration, then all we know is that Derr was outside her house and shot her dead. Everything else is anecdotal. I also disagree that it's irrelevant because it's what started the whole thing, according to witnesses. So if he was speeding, that means that her changing lanes in front of him was not necessarily an evil act and that action was not her fault.

I can't be sure but I don't think police in FL cite speeders based upon reports. They witness it and prove it through one of the devices I mentioned or by pacing the speeder. So, speeding is not going to be a part of this case.

I don't think anyone is saying he should get a speeding ticket. But his speeding is relevant insofar as it sets the scene for what happened next. If he was just a guy riding his bike and Morales intentionally swerved to knock him off the bike, there would be no defense for her. But per witnesses, that isn't what happened. He was speeding and she changed lanes. He felt she cut him off, but since he was speeding, the fault falls on him in my book. Then instead of moving on, he speeds up next to her to yell at her for changing lanes. She swerves and makes contact, either on purpose or in an effort to get away. He then chases her. Then she arrives home, he kicks her car. She tells them to leave and they don't. She grabs her gun to scare them and she's shot 5 times.

She swerved into his lane, 100% a reckless driving charge.

Hold up though, you have no idea what happened there. That's anecdotal too. If he was harassing her and she was trying to get away, then I don't think she would be charged. But we don't know.

Additionally she contacted his motorcycle and did not pull over. That is leaving the scene of an accident.

Except that she called law enforcement. I don't know if anyone else remembers this, but several years ago there was a scam going on where people would intentionally bump your car in road rage incidents to get you to pull over and assault you. Back then, the guidance was that if you're involved in a road rage accident, call law enforcement and drive to the closest police station, but you may not need to stop if you feel your life is in danger. I don't know if FL has that guidance. But anyway, if it were me, I wouldn't stop when Derr was so out of control.

She went home and broke the law (so did her mother) by brandishing a gun.

Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

From your link:

"A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be."

Morales had every right to have her gun when they chased her home. They had no right to do that, frankly.

I am not sure if Derr broke the law by shooting her. I think that he had a reasonable fear for his life. She tried to run him off the road and contacted his bike. Adding in her brandishing a weapon and it is reasonable that he feared for his life and stood his ground. That is not taking the law into his own hands.

It's the very definition of taking the law into his own hands. She did not try to run him off the road. If she had, he would have at least fallen off the bike. The way this has been spun is incredibly frustrating because the language used does not match the evidence. He was at HER house, not the other way around. He kicked her car. She told him to leave and he refused, after he'd already been aggressive with her and we're going to say that she shouldn't have brandished a weapon?

You keep posting your thoughts without considering the laws, all of which I have posted for you both in this post and earlier in the thread. This is what the authorities have to work with, and nothing more.

I'm sorry but no, that isn't what I'm doing. You keep posting links to things that you try to connect to Derr, but you're actually strengthening Morales's case, not Derr's. Your links don't justify the case you're trying to make.
 

BeginnerSleuther

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100% a crime in the state of FL, without a doubt. I shared the link for the statute in my other post.

No it isn't, per your link. It's only a crime if you try to change Morales's motivation which has already been documented. She was afraid. She said so in the 911 call.

Here it is again:

"A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony."

To say that she committed a crime in waving a gun at her own residence when she was chased home and has already made it clear she feels threatened is just not true.
 

Catmommy

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  • Am I implying that the shooter did nothing wrong? No. Am I implying that a woman should have lost her life? No. I'm simply asking why a pregnant woman who was involved in some sort of road rage incident and presumably terrified after being followed home left the safety of her house with gun in hand further risking the life of her unborn baby and herself because it is an action I don't understand. I doubt many, if any, of us here would have done the same thing in the same situation, stand your ground law or not.
 

everybodhi

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snipped & bbm
He was reportedly yelling at her and pointing at her---but she was in her vehicle and he was on a cycle. He was not in a position to harm her in any way.
She was the one who introduced GUNS into the situation. She was the one that created the gun fight. There was no reason to do so. She deserves the criticism. It is not 'victim blaming' to criticise someone for greatly escalating a situation that was under control into a gun fight.
What was he yelling at her?
Maybe he yelled she could be shot.
I don’t think he yelled niceties, he most likely yelled threats.
Maybe she saw the gun or the strap and knew he was armed or at the very least, knew it was likely.
Unfortunately, she’s dead and can’t tell us her side of the story but it’s a fact he was armed the entire time which put him in a position to harm from the get go.
 

everybodhi

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I just read the FL statute posted above about hit and run. It doesn't mention drivers involved in an accident in which there were no injuries.

I just got off work and it's late so maybe I'm missing it if someone wants to double check me.

Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine
If you’re in an accident with no injuries and minor damage and the other party is threatening you so you keep driving while calling 911, I don’t think that is “hit and run”.
Hit and run is trying to evade responsibility by hiding your identity, she was trying to evade a threat, she was on the phone with dispatch and told them her name and location.
 

GatorFL

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Brandishing is only a crime in Florida if it is “not necessary in self defense,” per the statute. This situation is still ambiguous, with some facts yet to be determined. Depending on exactly what happened at the Morales home, a case could be made in favor of Morales for self defense.

Derr was on Morales’ property, and Florida “stand your ground” doctrine does not favor Derr, because he was not in a place where he had a right to be.
It wasn't self defense because she didn't use it. She brandished it, Derr shot her as a result. 100% a crime on her part.
 

GatorFL

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