Brief Fact Summary. Defendant was convicted of murdering his wife. Defendant alleged that he killed in the heat of passion and thus should only be found guilty of manslaughter.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. There is no specific type of provocation required, verbal provocation may be sufficient.
In the present condition of our law it is left to the jurors to say whether or not the facts and circumstances in evidence are sufficient to lead them to believe that the defendant did, or to create a reasonable doubt in their minds as to whether or not he did, commit his offense under a heat of passion.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether Defendant possessed the requisite intent for the crime he was convicted of.
Held. Defendant killed in the heat of passion.
It is a question for the jury as to whether or not s defendant has killed in the heat of passion.
There is no specific type of provocation required, verbal provocation may be sufficient. Passion may be any violent, intense, high wrought or enthusiastic emotion.
Discussion. The Court found persuasive Defendant’s testimony documenting two weeks of taunting and abuse he sustained from his wife. The Court found that evidence of infidelity and taunts of such could be sufficient to constitute a heat of passion killing. The Court also ruled that Defendant did not have an opportunity to ‘cool down’ and rather, that the final interaction between Defendant and his victim catalyzed the sudden, uncontrollable rage that Defendant killed in.