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State v. Fugate

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Defendant, Fugate, was convicted of armed robbery and murder.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    When a criminal defendant is charged with murder, intent to kill can be assumed when the natural and probable consequences of the crime is death.

    Facts.

    Fugate ventured into a parking garage carrying a loaded shotgun with the intention of robbing the owner of the parking garage. Fugate hit the parking garage owner twice with the barrel of the shotgun, causing severe head injuries. Fugate then proceeded to order the parking garage owner into the basement of the garage and shot him twice. Fugate argued the evidence did not show that he intended to kill the parking garage owner.

    Issue.

    Whether intent to kill can be assumed when the natural and probable consequences of the crime is death.

    Held.

    Yes. Intent to kill can be assumed when the natural and probable consequences of the crime is death.

    Concurrence.

    None

    Discussion.

    When attempting to discern whether the natural and probable consequences of a crime is death, the trial court must look to the circumstances surrounding the crime and the death. An intent to kill can be deduced by evaluating the circumstances of the crime and evidence that is introduced during trial. Here, because the natural and probable consequences of the robbery of the parking garage owner was death, an assumption can be made that Fugate had an intent to kill.


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