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Harris v. State

Maryland Court of Appeals
728 A.2d 180 (1999)


Timothy Harris (defendant), Jack Tipton, and several others were playing cards and drinking alcohol at a friend’s house. At the end of the evening, Tipton offered to drive Harris home. While en route, Harris became angry when Tipton refused to drive to the District of Columbia. Harris forcibly removed Tipton from his car and drove away. Tipton reported the vehicle as stolen. Harris was charged with carjacking, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, and second degree assault. At trial, defense counsel asserted a voluntary intoxication defense as justification for Harris’ actions. At the conclusion of the evidence, Harris requested a jury instruction on voluntary intoxication, arguing that he was too intoxicated from smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol to form the specific intent required for the offenses of carjacking and the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. The court denied Harris’s request. The trial judge then instructed the jury that the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle was the only offense that required specific intent. Additionally, the trial judge instructed the jury that a defendant is guilty of carjacking when he obtains unauthorized possession or control of a motor vehicle from another individual in actual possession by force or violence, or by putting that individual in fear through intimidation or threat of force or violence. The jury found Harris guilty of carjacking and assault but not guilty of the crime of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. Harris appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Raker, J.)

Dissent (Bell, C.J.)

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