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State v. Avery
Supreme Court of Missouri
120 S.W.3d 196 (Mo. 2003) (en banc)
Jamie Avery (defendant) lived with her boyfriend John Hamilton but was also conducting an affair with Bruce Paris. Avery and Paris were in Hamilton’s home and were arguing. When Hamilton called, Avery demanded Paris leave. Paris left, but only after Avery brandished a handgun at him. According to Avery, Paris returned, threatened to beat her, tried to grab the gun, and then Avery accidentally shot him. During her trial, Avery claimed that Paris had assaulted her earlier in the evening, that he was intoxicated and threatening, and produced evidence that Paris had made harassing calls to both Avery and Hamilton prior to that night. Avery was convicted of second-degree murder. Avery appealed, alleging that the trial judge erred in refusing to instruct the jury on the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stith, J.)
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