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People v. Guenther

Supreme Court of Colorado
740 P.2d 971 (1987)


Facts

A group of people were drinking at a party at the home of Michael and Josslyn Volosin. Three men left the party and went across the street to the home of David Guenther (defendant) and his wife, Pam, where they shouted at and challenged Guenther to go outside. The three men left after Pam said that she was going to call the police. The events that followed are in dispute, but Pam and Guenther alleged that Michael and his friends returned and that, when Pam opened the door, Michael grabbed Pam and pulled her outside. Pam screamed for Guenther, who came to the front door and fired four shots, wounding Michael and his friend Robbie and killing Josslyn. Guenther was charged with the second-degree murder of Josslyn and the first-degree assault of Michael and Robbie. Guenther moved to dismiss the charges, arguing that he was immune from criminal prosecution under § 18-1-704.5 of Colorado law, which provides that the occupant of a dwelling is immune from criminal prosecution for the use of physical force against a person who makes an unlawful entry into the dwelling. The trial court dismissed the charges against Guenther, and the prosecution appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Quinn, C.J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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