Sunday, November 17, 2013

State v. Hallett case brief

State v. Hallett case brief summary
619 P.2d 335 (1980)

Defendant appealed from the judgment of the trial court (Utah) that convicted him of negligent homicide, Utah Code Ann. § 76-5-206 (1953).

The evidence revealed that defendant and others, after a night of drinking alcoholic beverages, bent over stop signs such that they were no longer visible, and they removed and relocated other stop signs. The following morning a collision occurred at an intersection where the stop sign was not visible, and one of the victims died. After a trial to the bench, defendant was convicted of negligent homicide, and the court affirmed.


  • The court held that the testimony of two of the state's witnesses was properly admitted where there was no evidence that they participated in the bending of the signs and, thus, they were not accomplices. 
  • The court also ruled that the trial court was correct in its finding that defendant should have foreseen that his removal of the stop sign created a substantial risk of injury or death to others and that his having done so constituted a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise in all circumstances.

The court affirmed defendant's conviction for negligent homicide.

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