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People v. La Voie

Supreme Court of Colorado
395 P.2d 1001 (1964)


Facts

La Voie (defendant) was stopped at a traffic light on his way home from work at approximately 1:30 a.m. when another vehicle hit his rear bumper. There were four drunk men in the vehicle, none of whom La Voie knew, who had decided it would be amusing to ram his car and force it forward. The vehicle then accelerated and intentionally moved La Voie’s car ahead through the red light. La Voie’s brakes could not stop the continued force, leaving a trail of skid marks. When La Voie was finally able to stop the car, he got out, armed with a gun, which he had a permit to carry. The four men also got out and approached La Voie, making violent threats and using profane language. One of the men continued toward La Voie threateningly, and La Voie shot him, ultimately killing him. La Voie was charged with murder. Following the presentation of evidence, La Voie moved for a directed verdict of not guilty. The trial court granted the motion, concluding that the record clearly showed that La Voie’s act amounted to justifiable homicide. The People (plaintiff) filed a writ of error and petitioned for an opinion disapproving the directed verdict from the Supreme Court of Colorado.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Moore, J.)

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