Brief Fact Summary. Defendant and Victim were dating and got into a heated argument where Defendant brandished a gun and shot at Victim’s car while she was driving. Defendant was charged with attempted murder and aggravated kidnapping.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Attempted murder is a specific intent crime that requires the intent to bring about the result of the crime attempted.
Niceties and strictness of pleading are supported only where a defendant would be otherwise surprised on the trial or be unable to meet the charge or prepare his defense.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether the result must be intended by Defendant to sustain a conviction of attempted murder.
Held. Reversed and remanded and the jury must be given new instructions.
A jury instruction must make it clear that to convict for attempted murder, there must be a criminal intent to kill shown. Attempted murder requires the intent to bring about the result described by the crime of murder, the death of another.
Attempted murder is a specific intent crime, and requires the intent to commit a specific offense.
Discussion. The jury instructions given to Defendant’s jury allowed for the jury to convict if they found that Defendant intended to commit serious bodily harm. Although for the crime of murder the intent to do serious bodily harm is sufficient, it is insufficient for the crime of attempted murder. The Court ruled that the actor must have the intent to bring about the result of the attempted crime. If he had merely desired to do serious bodily harm, it would not be attempted murder.