People v. McClelland

350 P.3d 976 (2015)

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People v. McClelland

Colorado Court of Appeals
350 P.3d 976 (2015)

  • Written by Sharon Feldman, JD

Facts

Logan McClelland (defendant) shot and killed B.B. during an altercation between B.B. and McClelland’s father. McClelland was charged with murder and reckless manslaughter. B.B.’s demeanor before the shooting and the reasonableness of McClelland’s use of force were central issues at trial. Eyewitness testimony established that B.B. had been yelling and was intoxicated. McClelland asserted that he was acting to defend himself and his father. The trial court permitted the people (plaintiff) to introduce three photographs depicting B.B. smiling and participating in family events. The prosecutor referred to one photograph in his opening and told the jury that B.B. was someone’s father, son, and grandfather, a mechanic, and a NASCAR fan. The prosecutor’s closing argument similarly described B.B. as someone’s father, son, brother, and friend. The state’s murder and reckless-manslaughter statutes required proof that the defendant caused someone’s death. The people introduced the photographs to establish that B.B. was alive before the shooting. McClelland was convicted of reckless manslaughter. On appeal, McClelland argued that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting the three “in life” photographs.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Taubman, J.)

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