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State v. Brown

Supreme Court of New Mexico
931 P.2d 69 (1996)


On August 23, 1993, Jimmy Brown (defendant) began drinking beer with his friends around noon. That evening, Brown went to Josephine Calanshe’s home, where he continued drinking through the night. When Brown arrived, Calanshe introduced him to her boyfriend, Oscar Zapata. The men shook hands and had an amicable meeting. Later that night, Calanshe and Zapata were in the bedroom when Brown came into the room without warning and shot Zapata in the head with a shotgun, killing him. The State of New Mexico (plaintiff) charged Brown with first-degree depraved-mind murder. At trial, Brown testified that he was extremely intoxicated on the night of the shooting and did not recall his actions. Brown further testified about past blackout episodes that he had experienced as a result of excessive alcohol consumption. Brown requested that the trial court instruct the jury that his intoxication could be considered in determining whether he possessed the requisite mental state for depraved-mind murder at the time of the killing. The trial court denied the request. A jury convicted Brown, and he appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Franchini, J.)

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