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Bailey v. Commonwealth

Supreme Court of Virginia
229 Va. 258, 329 S.E.2d 37 (1985)



On the night of May 21, 1983, Bailey (defendant) and Murdock got in a heated argument while on their citizens’ band radios. They lived two miles apart. During the argument, Bailey threatened to come over and hurt or kill Murdock. He repeatedly challenged Murdock to take his handgun and wait on his porch for Bailey to arrive. Bailey knew that Murdock was drunk, legally blind, and in an agitated state. Murdock said he would be waiting on his porch. Instead of going to Murdock’s house, Bailey made an anonymous call to the local police and told them that a man was wielding a gun on his front porch. The police went to investigate but found no one on the porch. Bailey called Murdock over the radio and again challenged him to wait on his porch with his gun. He then made another anonymous call to the police and told them Murdock was on the porch threatening to shoot up everything in the neighborhood. Three officers went to Murdock’s home and saw Murdock emerge. Murdock sat down on the porch and placed a shiny object next to him. One officer ordered Murdock to walk away from the gun. Murdock cursed, reached for his gun, and began shooting at the officer. All three officers fired back. Before dying of a gunshot wound, Murdock stated several times that he did not know they were the police.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Carrico, C.J.)

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