Sunday, November 17, 2013

People v. La Voie case brief

People v. La Voie case brief summary
395 P.2d 1001 (1964)

The state challenged the decision of the District Court of Jefferson County (Colorado), which entered a directed verdict in favor of defendant on the charge of murder.

Defendant was accused of murder and entered a plea of not guilty. The evidence showed that defendant was purposefully rear-ended by a car that contained four people. The individuals in the car physically threatened defendant and defendant responded by shooting and killing one of the passengers. After the evidence was concluded, defendant requested that the trial court direct a verdict of not guilty. The trial court decided that the evidence was insufficient to warrant submission of any issue to the jury and established a clear case of justifiable homicide. Thus, the trial court directed a verdict of not guilty and the state appealed.


  • On appeal, the court affirmed and held that the record did not contain any evidence that warranted the submission of the any issue to the jury. 
  • The court determined that under the law and the circumstances disclosed by the record, defendant had the right to defend himself against the threatened assault of those whose lawlessness and utter disregard of his rights resulted in the justifiable killing of one of their number.

The court affirmed the trial court's decision which directed a verdict in favor of defendant.

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