People v. Dunn

39 Cal. App. 3d 418, 114 Cal. Rptr. 164 (1974)

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People v. Dunn

California Court of Appeal
39 Cal. App. 3d 418, 114 Cal. Rptr. 164 (1974)

Facts

Michael Allan Dunn (defendant) allowed Cabezut’s livestock to roam freely on Dunn’s 23 acres of land. However, after the livestock damaged Dunn’s fruit trees, Dunn began throwing rocks at the livestock to keep the livestock away from the land. Dunn was not successful. In 1973, Dunn shot the livestock using a rifle and a shotgun. The shooting resulted in the death of or injury to multiple animals that Cabezut owned. The State of California (plaintiff) charged Dunn under California’s Penal Code § 597, subd. (a), which prohibits the malicious maiming, wounding, or killing of another’s animal. At the trial, Dunn requested that the court instruct the jury that in order to find Dunn guilty, it must find that Dunn had malicious intent toward Cabezut. The court denied Dunn’s instruction request. The court instructed the jury that if it found that Dunn had applied unreasonable force to the livestock to protect the land, then Dunn was guilty of violating Section 597. The jury found Dunn guilty. Dunn appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Draper, J.)

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