Dunn v. Roberts

963 F.2d 308 (1992)

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Dunn v. Roberts

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
963 F.2d 308 (1992)

  • Written by Tammy Boggs, JD

Facts

In late 1984, 18-year-old Lisa Dunn (defendant) met Daniel Remeta, a cruel, controlling, violent man with a prison record. At Remeta’s request, Dunn retrieved her father’s gun and gave it to Remeta. Dunn, Remeta, and a third individual decided to travel by car from Michigan to Florida. Using the gun, Remeta repeatedly threatened to kill Dunn and her family if she were to leave him. According to Dunn, Remeta also choked her. At one point, the trio picked up a hitchhiker. As the group drove, Remeta engaged in a series of crimes against people they encountered, including murders, kidnappings, robbery, and battery. Dunn did not personally use any weapon or engage in violence, and no witness could definitively say whether she had driven the car. Dunn, Remeta, and the hitchhiker testified that Dunn did not drive. The state (plaintiff) charged Dunn with various crimes as an aider and abettor, such as felony murder, aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated robbery. At trial, Dunn and her counsel requested authorization from the court to retain an expert witness. Dunn’s counsel believed that Dunn suffered from battered-woman syndrome (BWS) and dissociative response, which were relevant to her ability to form the requisite mental state of specific intent to aid and abet. Counsel stated that he was not competent to develop the defense without an expert witness. Dunn’s request for funds was denied, and she was convicted of the charged crimes. On a writ of habeas corpus, Dunn obtained relief from a federal district court, which ordered a new trial with expert-witness assistance. The state appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McKay, C.J.)

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