Tag Archives: self-defense

Criminal Practice – Self-Defense – Stand Your Ground – Jury Instructions – Apartment Complex – Evidence – Victim’s Violence – Motion to Continue – Constitutional (access required)

State v. Bass (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-171-17, 44 pp.) (John Tyson, J.) (Wanda Bryant, J., dissenting) Appealed from Wake County Superior Court (Paul Ridgeway, J.) N.C. App. Holding: Even though defendant was not in his home, vehicle or workplace when ...

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Criminal Practice – Self-Defense – Aggressor Instruction – Plain Error (access required)

State v. Vaughn Even though defendant was angry that Shawn Pressley had beaten and injured her, she was also concerned for her friend, Latisha Kenney, with whom Pressley was arguing, when defendant got out of the safety of her car, carrying a knife. Pressley charged defendant, and she stabbed him. Since there was no evidence that defendant was the aggressor, the trial court plainly erred when it instructed the jury that self-defense is justified only if the defendant is not the aggressor.

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Criminal Practice – Assault – ‘Victim’ – Self-Defense or Defense of Others – Character Evidence (access required)

State v. Sessoms Although defendant raised the issue of self-defense and thereby challenged whether prosecuting witness John Griffin was actually a victim, the trial court’s reference to Mr. Griffin as “the victim” did not rise to the level of plain error in light of the evidence, which showed that defendant came to Mr. Griffin’s house, got out of his van, and cut Mr. Griffin with a machete while Mr. Griffin had no weapon of his own.

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