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Fulcher v. State

Wyoming Supreme Court
633 P.2d 142 (1981)


After drinking excessively at a bar, Fulcher (defendant) and his friend were arrested for public intoxication when a police officer found them lying in the alley behind the bar. The two men were placed in a cell with Martin Hernandez who was lying unconscious on the floor. When the jailer left he heard something like a person being kicked. Upon returning to the cell, the jailer noticed Fulcher standing over Hernandez, kicking him in the head. Hernandez was bleeding profusely and immediately taken to a hospital. Fulcher was charged with aggravated assault without a dangerous weapon. Prior to trial, Fulcher entered a plea of not guilty by reason of temporary mental illness. However, after being advised that he would be committed to an institution for examination, Fulcher changed his plea to not guilty. At a bench trial, Dr. LeBegue testified that Fulcher suffered brain injury and was in a state of traumatic automatism at the time of the attack on Hernandez. Dr. LeBegue defined traumatic automatism as the state of mind in which a person does not have conscious and willful control over his actions and lacks the ability to be aware of and to perceive his external environment. Fulcher was convicted and he appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)

Concurrence (Raper, J.)

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