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State v. Mitchell

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Defendant appeals a conviction of attempted murder.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    In Missouri, a defendant may be charged with attempting to commit a crime even though the completion of the crime was impossible.

    Facts.

    In an attempt to kill John Warren, Mitchell (Defendant) armed himself with a gun and went to the window of the room he believed Warren to be sleeping. Defendant then fired the gun at the place where Defendant believed Warren was laying. However, Warren was not in the room. Defendant was charged with, and convicted of, attempted murder. Defendant appealed.

    Issue.

    Whether a defendant may be charged with attempting to commit a crime even though the completion of the crime was impossible.

    Held.

    Yes. Defendant’s conviction is affirmed. In Missouri, a defendant may be charged with attempting to commit a crime even though the completion of the crime was impossible.

    Discussion.

    In Missouri, the “attempt” statute provides that a defendant who performs any act toward the commission of a crime, but fails in completing the crime, shall be guilty. The fact that Defendant intended to kill Warren who was not lying in the place where Defendant fired the gun does not make the attempted murder conviction null.


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