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State v. Cook

204 W. Va. 591, 515 S.E.2d 127 (1999)

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State v. Cook

West Virginia Supreme Court

204 W. Va. 591, 515 S.E.2d 127 (1999)

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Facts

Brenda Cook (defendant) and her husband, Gerald, had difficulties with their neighbor, Homer Buckler. The Cooks erected a fence on their property and placed rocks along the fence line. Buckler stopped his truck in front of the Cooks’ property, exited, and began throwing the rocks at Gerald. Buckler and Gerald began arguing. Hearing the commotion, Brenda walked out of the house with a shotgun and discharged it into the air, hoping that Buckler would leave the premises. Instead, Buckler became more incensed. The Cooks unsuccessfully tried to reason with Buckler. Buckler, who was a significantly larger man, knocked Gerald to the ground and began to beat him. Gerald was unable to defend himself. After unsuccessfully trying to pull Buckler off Gerald, Brenda shot Buckler once. Bucker later died. The State of West Virginia (plaintiff) charged Brenda with second-degree murder. At the close of the evidence, the trial court instructed the jury on defense of others as a justification for Brenda’s conduct. The jury rejected the defense and convicted Brenda. Brenda appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Davis, J.)

Concurrence (Workman, J.)

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