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Moss v. Commonwealth

Kentucky Supreme Court
531 S.W.3d 479, 481-82 (Ky. 2017)


Facts

Daniel Lee Moss (defendant) shot and killed Shawn Thompson while Thompson and Sarah Sanders were visiting the home of Moss and Christina Layle. Moss told the 911 operator that he had been attacked in his home and had to shoot Thompson. When officers arrived at the scene, they saw Thompson lying on Moss’s porch with his head at the bottom of the front steps. Sanders was hugging Thompson and screaming. The officers tried to calm the situation by taking Moss, Sanders, and Layle into Moss’s living room. While Moss was explaining to the officers what had happened, Sanders screamed, “You shot him in the back for no reason.” Moss did not respond and remained seated with his hands partially covering his face. Moss was charged with Thompson’s murder. At trial, the Commonwealth of Kentucky (plaintiff) offered testimony about Sanders’s accusation and Moss’s lack of response. The trial court admitted the testimony into evidence. The jury convicted Moss of manslaughter based on self-defense, and the court of appeals affirmed the conviction. Moss appealed to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Venters, J.)

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