A Florida judge on Friday dismissed the case of a Miami man arrested in August on charges related to voter fraud, saying state prosecutors acted outside their jurisdiction.
Robert Wood, 56, was charged with lying on voter forms and voting illegally. He is one of a dozen people arrested in August in a crackdown in five Florida counties.
Wood was convicted of second-degree murder in 1991, his attorney said. He registered to vote and ran in the 2020 election after a 2018 law restored the right to vote to many felons. But the law does not grant rights to convicted murderers and sex offenders, which has caused some confusion.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor argued that Wood’s crime occurred in two counties: Miami Dade, where he filled out voting papers and voted, and Leon County, where the papers were processed at the state capital. Wood’s attorneys argued that the office lacked proper jurisdiction to be charged in this case.
11th Judicial Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch agreed, citing Shakespeare in his ruling.
“‘He spreads his arms wider than a dragon’s wings,’ says Shakespeare’s Duke of Gloucester about Henry V. How much wider does the OSP seek its reach? In the case at hand, the answer is simple: wider than the enabling statute provides. and therefore too broad,” Hirsh wrote.
State Attorney Nick Cox said the Office of the Special Prosecutor will appeal.
On August 18, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, announced that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement had arrested Wood and 19 others on charges of illegal voting in the 2020 election. The arrests are the first public demonstration by the Florida Office of Election Crime and Security, a new agency created by DeSantis to investigate voting irregularities.
CNN is following the Wood case closely and has spoken with attorneys for the other two defendants who are awaiting court orders.