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People v. McNeese

Colorado Supreme Court, En Banc.
892 P.2d 304 (1995)


Facts

Vivian Daniels entered into an oral agreement with Robert Earl McNeese (defendant) for Vivian to stay at McNeese’s apartment, pay rent, and on the condition that her common-law husband John Daniels, never enter the premises. John Daniels had a reputation for not liking African-Americans. McNeese was an African-American. After about three months, McNeese made unwanted sexual advances on Vivian and she decided to move out. Vivian went to an apartment shared by John Daniels and Keith Tollefson. Immediately thereafter John and his friend David Wessels, and Vivian went to McNeese’s apartment to collect some of Vivian’s belongings. While there, John choked McNeese and threatened to kill him if he harmed Vivian again. McNeese stabbed and killed John and Wessels and stabbed Vivian in the head, wounding her. Vivian ran out of the apartment and called the police. McNeese was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree assault. After a preliminary hearing, the county court bound McNeese over for trial on two counts of second-degree murder. Additionally, McNeese was bound over for trial on the attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault charges arising out of the stabbing of Vivian. McNeese filed a motion to dismiss, alleging that he was immune from prosecution under the state’s “make-my-day” statute. Following a hearing, the trial court granted McNeese’s motion as to the second-degree murder charge of John Daniels only. The court of appeals affirmed and the Colorado Supreme Court granted review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Erickson, 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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