I know I'm late to this party, but after reading the whole thread, I feel like there are 2 important points that were not really discussed.
1) The cops can always charge you with something if they feel like it. It's up to the DA or State Attorney to decide whether to prosecute, and then up to a judge and/of jury, if they do. So, whether he was ultimately acquitted, budslave absolutely COULD have been charged and prosecuted for a variety of crimes. In Florida. Had that happened, whether he ultimately was convicted would really come down to how good of an attorney he had working for him.
The link posted in about the 3rd post, to an article about firing "warning shots" is a very good read.
You guys are talking about "the law" like it's very black and white. And like there is no "personal cost" to getting charged with a crime if you are ultimately acquitted. I think some of you have posted some very naïve statements, in that regard.
2) If he felt he had time to shoot and intentionally miss (i.e. fire warning shots), then a prosecuting attorney would very likely have made a solid argument that he did not feel in danger of imminent bodily harm. If the guy approaching with a crowbar was 50 yards away, do you think he would be found justified in using deadly force? Obviously not. And there is no specific distance codified in the law that says "if your attacker is closer than X feet, then you can use deadly force."
So, from a legal perspective, I believe (I am NOT an attorney) what it comes down to is what the shooter reasonably believed. The distance is only tangentially relevant, as the distance just contributes (or not) to what one would reasonably believe. If the attacker had a crowbar 50 yards away, no jury will think you reasonably believed you were in imminent fear for your life. If the attacker is arms length away, then convincing a jury you reasonably believed you were in imminent danger is a no-brainer.
At 10 feet away, using deadly force is going to be deemed justified if you can convince the jury you were reasonable in a belief that you were in imminent danger. And that is where a prosecutor would say "by his own admission, he used deadly force. By his own admission, he missed on purposed. Therefore, he did NOT believe he was in imminent danger. If he believed he were in imminent danger, he would have tried to shoot the attacker - not miss on purpose. He reasonably believed that he could soon be in imminent danger. But, "could soon be in imminent danger" is not the legal standard. "IN imminent danger" is the legal standard - which the defendant did not meet, by his own testimony."
I think budslave is very lucky he was not in a locale in FL that was more gun-averse. If he had been charged and prosecuted by a prosecutor who really wanted a conviction (and was competent), budslave most likely would have been convicted of some level of felony (or accepted a plea bargain for something lesser, to avoid the risk of a felony conviction).