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Tag Archives: Second-Degree Murder

Criminal Practice – Second-Degree Murder – Malice – Prior Drunk Driving Incident

State v. Grooms Defendant had no DWI arrests or convictions before he drove drunk and struck and killed two bicyclists. Nevertheless, the state was able to prove malice via evidence which included an ex-girlfriend’s testimony about a drunk-driving incident that occurred on the same road two months before the incident in question.

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Criminal Practice – Second-Degree Murder – Jury Instructions – Felony Murder – Child Abuse

State v. Barrow Where our Court of Appeals held, Since the state's evidence would have permitted the jury to find that defendant did not use a deadly weapon but still killed the five-month-old victim with malice, the trial court properly instructed the jury on the offense of second-degree murder, we affirm.

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Criminal Practice – Second-Degree Murder – High-Speed Chase – Evidence – Shoplifting Spree – Malice — Driving Without a License – Post-Accident Conduct – Jury Instructions

State v. Rollins Defendant had been shoplifting before the high-speed chase that ended in a fatal crash. Evidence of the shoplifting spree was admissible to explain why defendant was trying so aggressively to evade the officers chasing him. The voluminous and organized nature of the shoplifting expedition explained why defendant was driving in the manner that he was for purposes of the malice element of second-degree murder.

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Criminal Practice – First-Degree Murder – Jury Instructions – Second-Degree Murder – No Evidence – Victim’s Character

State v. Laurean Even though defendant contends the state presented no evidence as to the circumstances immediately surrounding his killing of the victim, there was evidence of premeditation and deliberation, and there was no evidence to support a jury instruction on second-degree murder. Consequently, the trial court correctly declined to instruct the jury on second-degree murder.

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