Sunday, November 17, 2013

State v. Guebara case brief

State v. Guebara case brief summary
696 P.2d 381 (1985)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant appealed from a judgment of the District Court of Finney County (Kansas), following a jury trial, in which he was found guilty of murder in the first-degree. Defendant argued that the trial court erred when it failed to instruct the jury on the lesser included offense of voluntary manslaughter as defined in Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-3403.

CASE FACTS
Defendant's wife filed for divorce. About the same time she also filed criminal charges against defendant for misdemeanor battery and theft. It was undisputed that defendant shot and killed his wife when she attempted to collect the parties' daughter who had been staying with defendant in accordance with an agreed visitation schedule. Defendant admitted to the homicide in his testimony at trial. A jury returned a verdict that found defendant guilty of murder in the first-degree. Defendant challenged the trial court's decision not to instruct the jury on the lesser-included offense of voluntary manslaughter set forth in § 21-3403.

DISCUSSION

  • The court affirmed defendant's conviction because the evidence was not sufficient to require an instruction on voluntary manslaughter as a lesser-included offense of the charge of murder. 
  • The court noted that it had to apply an objective standard for measuring the sufficiency of the provocation. 
  • In doing so, it could not consider the innate peculiarities of the individual defendant. 
  • Therefore, the court concluded that the trial court did not err when it refused to instruct the jury on voluntary manslaughter.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed defendant's conviction for murder in the first-degree.

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