Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thacker v. Commonwealth case brief

Thacker v. Commonwealth case brief summary
114 S.E. 504 (1922)

Defendant sought review of an order from the Circuit Court of Alleghany County (Virginia), which convicted him of attempted murder. Defendant alleged that the evidence failed to show that he fired a shot with the intention of murdering anyone.

Defendant was convicted for attempted murder after a shot that he fired at a lamp, which was placed on the head of a bed, almost hit a woman and her child.


  • On appeal, the court reversed the conviction. 
  • The court held that while it might possibly be said that the firing of the shot into the head of the bed was an act done towards the commission of the offense charged, the evidence fell far short of proving that it was fired with the intent to murder the woman. 
  • Because attempted murder was an offense consisting of an act combined with a particular intent, the intent had to be proved just as the act itself had to be proved. 
  • As such, the court held that the verdict was erroneous.

The court reversed defendant's conviction for attempted murder and ordered a new trial.

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