Ferrel v. State

55 S.W.3d 586 (2001)

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Ferrel v. State

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
55 S.W.3d 586 (2001)

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Facts

Anthony Randolph Ferrel (defendant) got into an argument with William Patrick McManus at a pool hall and bar. The altercation started when McManus insulted Ferrel’s parents. One of McManus’s friends was with McManus during the argument, and McManus asked to take their fight outside. Both McManus and his friend were taller and heavier than Ferrel. Ferrel declined and, fearing that McManus was about to attack him, swung his arm and hit McManus in the face with a full beer bottle. The impact caused McManus to fall backward and hit his head on the floor. He died at the scene. Ferrel was charged with aggravated assault. At trial, the state introduced expert evidence that either the blow by the beer bottle or the head injury from hitting the floor could have caused the hemorrhage that killed McManus. Ferrel introduced evidence that McManus’s death was due to the blow to his head in addition to his level of intoxication. Ferrel was convicted and appealed, arguing that the trial judge erred by denying his request for a jury instruction on self-defense. The court of appeals agreed with Ferrel, finding that he was entitled to a jury instruction on self-defense under a Texas statute permitting self-defense instructions in cases in which defendants were alleged to have used nondeadly force, and reversed his conviction. The state appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Keasler, J.)

Concurrence (Holcomb, J.)

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