To access this feature, please Log In or Register for your Casebriefs Account.

Add to Library




People v. Hansen

Citation. People v. Hansen, 885 P.2d 1022 (1994)
Law Students: Don’t know your Studybuddy Pro login? Register here

Brief Fact Summary.

Hansen appealed his conviction of second-degree felony murder after he fired gun shots into another person’s house. 

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Second-degree felony murder exists when a killing occurs during the commission of a felony that is not a lesser-included offense of murder.


Hansen gave Echaves $40 to get crystal meth for him. Instead of securing the drugs, Echaves ran away with the $40. Hansen then went to Echaves’ home and fired his gun into Echaves’ apartment. Hansen ended up killing a thirteen-year-old girl inside of Echaves’ apartment. Hansen was charged with second-degree felony murder and the court of appeals confirmed the conviction. 


Whether firing a gun into a house is a felony that is indicative of the felony murder rule?


Yes and no. As long as the original felony is not a lesser-included offense of murder, then the defendant is guilty of murder even if the murder was unintended. The decision of the lower courts are affirmed. 


(Mosk, J.) Firing a gun is not a felony that is inherently dangerous to human life. Although there is a high probability that someone can die from firing gunshots into another’s home, death must be certain to satisfy the felony murder rule.

(Kennard, J.) Firing a gun into someone’s home is a lesser-included offense of murder because murders often occur when people fire guns. 


(Werdegar, J.) A felony is a lesser-included offense of murder if there was an “independent felonious design.” Regardless, the second-degree murder conviction should be affirmed. 


The felony murder rule applies in this case because firing a gun into someone’s home is an inherently dangerous felony. A stray bullet can hit an innocent bystander if a gun is fired into a place where individuals live.

Create New Group

Casebriefs is concerned with your security, please complete the following