Sunday, November 17, 2013

State v. Jimerson case brief

State v. Jimerson case brief summary
618 P.2d 1027 (1980)

Defendant challenged an order from the Superior Court for Spokane County (Washington), which refused to instruct the jury on simple assault and subsequently entered a judgment against defendant on a verdict of guilty to second degree assault.

After a heated exchange with two off-duty police officers, defendant's car swerved toward the officers but missed them. Defendant was arrested and convicted of second degree assault. At trial, defendant's proposed instruction on simple assault was denied because the trial court believed there was insufficient evidence.


  • On appeal, the court reversed for failure to give an instruction on simple assault. 
  • Each of the elements of simple assault was a necessary element of second degree assault. 
  • Simple assault concerned an assault that involved neither the intent nor the result denoted in assault in the second degree. 
  • Evidence was produced that would justify a reasonable person in concluding that the lesser-included offense of simple assault was committed. 
  • If, as alleged by defendant, the car was to be used to put some non-deadly force into motion which amounted to an assault, such as the alleged intent to splash slush or water from a mud puddle onto the officers, then the car could have been used to commit a simple assault. 
  • The instruction on the lesser-included offense of simple assault should have been given and the failure to do so was prejudicial error.

The court reversed defendant's conviction for second degree assault and remanded the case for new trial, holding that the trial court should have given an instruction to the jury on simple assault.

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