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United States v. Jacobs

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Defendant appeals a conviction of assault resulting in serious injury.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    When an actual battery is committed it includes an assault.

    Facts.

    Isaac Jacobs (Defendant) planned to evict Earl Bodoh and his family from their home. Defendant blocked Bodoh’s driveway while he and his family were out of town. Bodoh nonetheless was able to reach the door of his house. As Bodoh attempted to open the door, Defendant shot him in the arm. Bodoh was not aware that Defendant had aimed a gun at him until he felt the injury in his arm. Defendant was found guilty of assault resulting in a serious bodily injury. He appealed, arguing that he could not be guilty of the crime because the assault did not occur until after the serious bodily injury.

    Issue.

    Whether a defendant may be found guilty of assault resulting in a serious bodily injury when the victim could not have had a reasonable apprehension of bodily harm until after the injury was inflicted.

    Held.

    Yes. Defendant’s conviction is affirmed. When an actual battery is committed it includes an assault.

    Discussion.

    A person commits an assault when he attempts to commit a battery or causes another person to have a reasonable apprehension of bodily harm. Additionally, when an actual battery is committed it includes an assault. Here, because Bodoh was unaware that Defendant had a gun aimed at him, he could not have had a reasonable apprehension of bodily harm prior to the infliction of the serious bodily injury. Yet, Defendant may still be guilty of assault resulting in a serious injury because he committed an actual battery when he shot Bodoh.


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