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Newell v. State

Mississippi Supreme Court
49 So. 3d 66 (2010)


Facts

James Newell (defendant) suspected his wife of cheating on him with another man. To confirm the affair, he drove to the Slab House bar in Lowndes County, Mississippi. When he arrived, he noticed his wife’s parked truck and a man named Adrian Boyette standing near it. Newell asked Boyette if he knew the woman who drove the truck and if there was a man with her. Boyette responded that he did not. Newell then pointed to another man standing nearby and asked who he was. Boyette stated that the man was his friend, and told Newell not to interact with him. This led to a heated exchange between Newell and Boyette, ending with Newell turning back to walk to his truck. According to Newell, Boyette followed him to his truck and began to shout and beat on the vehicle. At one point, the car door was shut on Newell’s leg. After Newell was inside the truck, Boyette continued to beat on the truck and threatened to take Newell out of the truck and hurt him. Newell pushed the truck door open and stepped out. Boyette threatened to cut him and reached for his pocket. In response, Newell reached into the truck, grabbed his pistol, and shot Boyette. Boyette later died from the gun wound. Newell was convicted of manslaughter for Boyette’s death. Newell appealed his conviction, arguing that the trial court committed error in refusing to instruct the jury on the Castle Doctrine defense.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Waller, C.J.)

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