Friday, November 15, 2013

Lewis v. State case brief

Lewis v. State case brief summary
474 So.2d 766 (1985)

Defendant sought review of the judgment of the Jefferson Circuit Court (Alabama), which convicted defendant of criminally negligent homicide pursuant to Ala. Code § 13A-6-4(a) (1975).

After defendant was convicted of criminally negligent homicide pursuant to Ala. Code § 13A-6-4(a) (1975), defendant challenged the judgment of conviction. On appeal, defendant contended that his motion for judgment of acquittal should have been granted because there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to sustain the conviction of criminally negligent homicide. Defendant also contended that his acts were not the proximate cause of the victim's death.


  • The court found that the evidence indicated that defendant was not present when the victim shot himself. 
  • The court also found that defendant had put his gun away after the victim and he had finished playing the "game" of "Russian Roulette." 
  • The court held that the evidence showed that the victim had exercised his own free will when he got the gun, loaded it, and shot himself. 
  • Therefore, the court ruled that the victim's conduct was a supervening, intervening cause that was sufficient to break the chain of causation. 
  • The court held that it was not reasonable to require defendant to have perceived the risk that the victim would play the game by himself or that he intended for him to do this.

The court reversed the judgment of conviction. The court rendered the matter to the trial court.

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