TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Investigators say a Tampa mother suffered a severe beating at the hands of her boyfriend. They also say her son, Tyler Bardin shot and killed the man that same night.
Now, he is charged with murder, but he claims it was self-defense.
Tish Bardin has a visible black eye from the alleged beating inflicted by her boyfriend, Brian Vessel.
Investigator's say Tyler Bardin decided it would be the last time Vessel would lay a hand on Trish. Then 22 years old, Tyler allegedly shot and killed Vessel during a heated argument the morning of December 28, 2017.
At first, investigators said Tyler shot Vessel in self-defense. He was later arrested after investigators learned he got rid of the gun. Also, an autopsy determined Vessel was shot in the back, suggesting he was retreating from the confrontation.
Bardin's attorney, Ty Trayner told a judge about the domestic abuse that led up to the deadly confrontation.
"The mother got beat up very badly by the deceased very badly," said Trayner.
Bardin's defense attorney hopes the 'stand your ground' law will negate his client's murder charge.
A newly-filed motion states the alleged victim had made threats during a 911 call that he was going to "kill the person who struck him."
Bardin also alleges Vessel was heading up the stairs to his mother's apartment and Tyler Bardin was in fear for this mother’s life, so in order to protect her, he shot Vessel five times.
But defense attorney Anthony Rickman says it will be hard to prove self-defense when the alleged victim is retreating from the confrontation.
"The victim ran. The situation is diffused. If he follows him outside and shoots him in the back, you're not talking about self-defense, you're talking about second-degree murder," explained Rickman.
A stand your ground hearing is set for May.