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Conroy v. State

Texas Court of Appeals
843 S.W.2d 67 (1992)


Facts

Around 3:00 a.m., after drinking in a bar for several hours, Edward Patrick Conroy and three friends returned to his house around 3:00 a.m., where Conroy’s wife, niece and nephew, and two other friends were sleeping. Conroy then called an escort service and requested that four women come to his home. Conroy paid the four women $220 each, and directed the three men and women to different rooms in his house.  Conroy stayed in the living room, drinking beer. At some point, Conroy thought it would be funny to burst into the rooms with his passport and a handgun, saying that he was a vice officer and that everyone was under arrest. Conroy obtained a revolver, removed two bullets from the gun for “safety reasons” but left three in the gun’s chamber. Around 5:50 a.m., Conroy quickly burst into three rooms brandishing the gun, holding up his passport, and telling the people in the rooms that they were “busted.” As he entered the third room, Conroy held the gun at waist level, cocked. A shot was fired and struck one of the women, Elissa Anne Roberts, in the head killing her. Conroy was charged with murder. At trial, Conroy testified that he had not intended to shoot anyone and specifically did not see Elissa when he entered the room, and that the gun went off accidentally. Conroy, who had prior military and weapons training, testified that he knew the gun was loaded, cocked, and that his finger was on the trigger when he entered the third room. A weapons expert testified that the gun would not go off accidentally, but only if the trigger was pulled. After the trial court denied Conroy’s request for an instruction on negligent homicide, Conroy was found guilty of the lesser included offense of involuntary manslaughter and he appealed. 

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mirabal, J.)

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