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State v. Guthrie

    Citation. 22 Ill.194 W. Va. 657, 461 S.E.2d 163 (1995)

    Brief Fact Summary. Defendant Guthrie was convicted of first-degree murder for stabbing his colleague upon becoming agitated by the colleague’s teasing. Defendant appeals the jury instruction on the ground that the term premeditated was equated with a mere intent to kill.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. In order to establish premeditation and deliberation under the first-degree murder statute, there must be some evidence that Defendant considered and weighed his decision to kill.


    Facts. Defendant was working in the kitchen of a restaurant when one of his colleagues began teasing him and snapped him in the face with a dishtowel. Defendant, who suffers from various psychiatric problems, became agitated, pulled a knife out of his pocket and stabbed his colleague in the neck. At trial, the Judge instructed the jury that “to constitute a willful, deliberate and premeditated killing, it is not necessary that the intention to kill should exist for any particular length of time prior to the actual killing; it is only necessary that such intention should have come into existence for the first time at the time of such killing

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