Victim: Marvin Paul Gilhousen (killed)
The accused: Cifford Eugene Van Dyke

Marvin Paul_Gilhousen

Marvin Paul Gilhousen

White male

Age at time: 61

Weapon: none

Cifford Eugene_Van Dyke

Cifford Eugene Van Dyke

White male

Age at time: 57

Weapon: g


Case type:
argument turned violent

Defendant's Back Yard

Initiator not known


Case year:

Location details: In the yard in Jacksonville, Duval County, on July 14, 2010

What happened: Van Dyke lived next to his sister and brother-in-law and there had been previous altercations between the two men. At the Stand Your Ground hearing, police and neighbors testified that Gilhousen had beaten up Van Dyke before. Van Dyke said Gilhousen had broken into his home, hit his wife & threatened to behead him. He said after Gilhousen accosted him, he fired 3 or 4 shots. Ballistic experts testified that Van Dyke fired the final shot when he was closer and Gilhousen was falling or already on the ground. The judge said he did not grant Van Dyke immunity because the Stand Your Ground law does not allow the shooter to advance.

The outcome: Van Dyke changed his plea to guilty of 2nd degree murder and was sentenced to 5 years & 9 months but got credit for the 925 days he already served.

Investigating agency: Jacksonville Sheriff

Case decision made by: judge

Trayvon Martin’s death became controversial because circumstances leading up to the shooting cast doubt on who was to blame. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed other “stand your ground” cases for similar circumstances. The Times relied on available information, some of which may not tell the whole story. When the situation was unclear, that was noted.

Yes No Unclear/

Did the victim initiate the confrontation?


Was the victim armed?


Was the victim committing a crime that led to the confrontation?


Did the defendant pursue the victim?


Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?


Was the defendant on his or her property?


Did someone witness the attack?


Was there physical evidence?


Source: First Coast News, July 14, 2010. Link to original source

Source: Mayport Mirror, Jan. 24, 2013. Link to original source

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Case last updated: Aug. 10, 2013