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People v. Quesada

Court of Appeal of California
169 Cal.Rptr. 881 (1980)


The home of Reuben Simon Quesada Jr. (defendant) was burglarized while he was out for the evening, and several items were stolen. Quesada later learned from a neighbor that a man named Edie was the likely suspect. Quesada and the neighbor concocted a plan to recover the property. When Edie brought over a stereo to sell to the neighbor, Quesada and a friend confronted Edie and accused him of stealing the stereo and other property. Edie fled in his car as Quesada’s friend attempted to grab Edie through the passenger-side door. Fearing that Edie would hit Quesada or his friend, Quesada fired shots from a handgun at Edie’s vehicle. Edie was struck in the chest by a bullet and later died. Quesada was charged with murder. At trial, Quesada requested a jury instruction that the killing of a person was justifiable if necessarily committed while apprehending a person who had committed burglary. The trial court refused to give the jury instruction. Quesada was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Quesada appealed, arguing that burglary at night was necessarily a felony that threatened death or bodily injury and thus justified the use of deadly force to apprehend the burglar.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Grodin, J.)

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