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People v. Gleghorn

California Court of Appeal
193 Cal. App. 3d 199 (1987)


Gleghorn (defendant) lived in a house owned by Downes, who rented her garage to Fairall. Fairall thought he had merely lent his stereo to Downes, whereas Downes thought Fairall had agreed to give the stereo to her. When Downes did not return the stereo, Fairall became enraged, broke into Downes’ bedroom, scattered her possessions, and let loose her pet snake. Downes related Fairall’s actions to Gleghorn, who broke into the garage and threatened to set it on fire if Fairall did not come down from a loft where he had been sleeping. When Gleghorn set a small fire, Fairall shot Gleghorn with an arrow and wounded him. Fairall then came down from the loft, leaving his bow and arrow behind, and tried to put out the fire. Gleghorn, angry over his wound, proceeded to beat Fairall, breaking his jaw, knocking out several teeth, and inflicting other injuries. Gleghorn was charged with assault likely to inflict serious bodily injury and battery for inflicting serious bodily injury. The jury convicted Gleghorn on the serious battery charge but convicted him only of simple rather than serious assault. Gleghorn moved for a mistrial on the ground that the two jury verdicts were inconsistent. Gleghorn argued that, since he was only found guilty of simple assault, Fairall had no right to use deadly force in retaliation, and Gleghorn himself was entitled to defend himself against Fairall’s potentially deadly bow and arrow attack. The trial court denied Gleghorn’s motion and affirmed the convictions. Gleghorn appealed to the California Court of Appeal.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stone, J.)

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