PUNTA GORDA, Fla.—A Miami judge on Oct. 21 approved a motion to dismiss an elections fraud case brought by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Election Crimes Unit.
The state had charged Robert Wood and 19 other people with election fraud in August after a state roundup by the Election Crimes Unit, a new body that the governor put together in an effort to clean up voter rolls and charge those who have violated election laws.
Wood was convicted of second-degree murder in 1991, making him ineligible to vote under state law.
Larry Davis, who represented Wood, argued that the Office of the Statewide Prosecutor (OSP) did not have jurisdiction over the case and Judge Milton Hirsch agreed.
In his order, Hirsch dismissed the charges against Wood and decided the state’s prosecution of election crimes constituted an “overreach of power.”
However, the governor’s office disagreed with the court’s ruling and said it intended to appeal.
“Given that elections violations of this nature impact all Florida voters, elections officials, state government, and the integrity of our republic, we continue to view the Florida Office of Statewide Prosecution as the appropriate agency to prosecute these crimes,” Bryan Griffin, the governor’s press secretary, told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.
“The state will continue to enforce the law and ensure that murderers and rapists who are not permitted to vote do not unlawfully do so,” he continued. “Florida will not be a state in which elections are left vulnerable or cheaters unaccountable.”
State Prosecutor Nick Cox said in an Oct. 21 statement that the judge had an “incorrect analysis” and the decision would be appealed.