Prosecutors with the State Attorney’s Office decided against pursuing charges against Michelle Dinkins-Penland for shooting her husband Mark Penland on March 22.
Penland, 53, was physically and verbally abusing his wife’s 14-year-old son that night, investigators said after interviewing multiple witnesses. The son had invited a friend to the family’s Ocala home in the 8300 block of SE 16th Terrace to celebrate his birthday.
As Penland beat the 14-year-old later that night, the child’s grandmother and mother tried to intervene. Penland threw the grandmother to the ground.
“Dinkins-Penland pleaded with Penland to stop beating her son but Penland told her he was going to kill the juvenile,” the Marion County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a press release. “Dinkins-Penland possessed a Florida concealed weapons permit and a .38 revolver. She obtained her weapon and shot her husband twice to stop him from causing any more harm to her son.”
The boy then called 911 as his mother tried to help Penland. Sheriff’s deputies arrived and rendered aid until medics took him to the hospital. Penland died from his injuries early in the morning of March 23.
Prosecutors said Dinkins-Penland was allowed under Florida’s stand your ground law to use deadly force “based on a reasonable fear that her life, her mother’s life and certainly her son’s life were in danger.”
The Department of Children and Families has been contacted about the boy’s future safety.