Arizona v. Buggs

806 P.2d 1381 (1991)

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Arizona v. Buggs

Arizona Court of Appeals
806 P.2d 1381 (1991)

Facts

Johnny Frank Buggs (defendant) was convicted by a jury of aggravated assault and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Buggs got into a fight with two women, Shirley Hall and V.B., in a poolhall. The fight spilled out into the parking lot where three male Crip gang members with whom Buggs had a prior incident started kicking him while either Hall or V.B. stabbed him. Buggs made it to the side of the building, where a friend gave him a pistol. Worried that the Crips would ambush him if he left in a different direction, Buggs went back to the front of the poolhall, where two of the Crips were standing around with V.B. She had a knife but did not threaten Buggs with it. Buggs was afraid of the Crips, due to their reputation, and shot at them. He missed the men but hit V.B. in the leg. He testified that because the Crips attacked him just shortly before, he believed they were about to kill him and that he had to shoot them before they shot him. Buggs appealed, because the trial judge’s jury instruction on self-defense did not tell the jury that the state (plaintiff) had the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Buggs did not act in self-defense.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kleinschmidt, J.)

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