Judge sets Dec. date for self-defense hearing in bus stop stabbing case

— A busload of Palmetto Ridge High School students will testify in a self-defense hearing in December.

Collier Circuit Judge Lauren Brodie considered the final exam schedule before setting a date for the hearing involving a Collier teen charged in the stabbing death of a fellow student.

Brodie then scheduled a three-day block in early December to address a motion by Jorge Saavedra’s attorney in favor of using the Stand Your Ground law in the teen’s defense.

The 15-year-old is charged in the death of Dylan Nuño, 16 at a Golden Gate Estates bus stop on Jan. 24, while both teens were on the way home from Palmetto Ridge.

Nuño died after being stabbed in the stomach and chest.

On Tuesday, Saavedra sat with his parents behind him as Brodie set the dates. Several members of Nuño’s family sat in the back of the courtroom.

Two hearings scheduled in a quick 10 minute court session Tuesday will address motions by defense attorney Donald Day.

The first, set for early November, will address a motion to suppress a statement made by Saavedra following his January arrest. Day said in court Tuesday the statement should be excluded from proceedings since questioning by detectives continued after the teen requested an attorney.

The second will address motion on The Stand Your Ground statute, which will argue Saavedra acted in self-defense during the fight with Nuño.

Though the judge originally slated two days for the hearing, Brodie agreed with input from Day and Assistant State Attorney Tom Gorman III to set aside three days in December, “out of an abundance of caution,” she said in court.

“The problem is the sheer number of eyewitnesses involved,” Days said Tuesday, in favor of allowing more time for that hearing.

The defense will also bring before the judge for what Day estimates will be several hours of testimony a Florida Gulf Coast University professor who is an expert on bullying. Day declined to provide the academic’s name.

One of the recurring themes in the case has been allegations of bullying

“Schools will be looking to this case to see how they are going to handle these issues,” Day said outside the courtroom Tuesday.

However, Nuño’s father, Renier, has said he didn’t believe his son was bullying Saavedra.

Saavedra, who was 14 at the time of the stabbing, faces a manslaughter charge in Nuño’s death and is being prosecuted as a juvenile. He is not currently in custody after a judge allowed him to live with his parents outside Collier County.

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