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State v. Cooper

Arizona Supreme Court
529 P.2d 231 (1974)


Facts

Eugene Raymond Cooper (defendant) was driving recklessly through a shopping center parking lot when he was pursued by a police officer. Cooper led the police officer on a high-speed chase during rush hour traffic. Cooper shot and wounded the pursuing police officer and then kidnapped a man in a parking lot at gunpoint. The kidnapped man wrestled the gun away from Cooper and the vehicle crashed into the divider on a freeway. Although Cooper attempted to run, he was quickly apprehended and charged with kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon. At the request of Cooper’s counsel, the court appointed psychiatrists to examine Cooper’s mental condition prior to trial. The psychiatrists reported that Cooper was competent to stand trial. Cooper’s counsel then timely gave notice of his intention to raise the defense of insanity at trial. During the trial, Cooper’s counsel offered testimony from a psychiatrist and a psychologist as to Cooper’s mental condition at the time of the offense. Both experts testified that had Cooper not been on amphetamines for several days prior to the offense, he would have been sane. After hearing the testimony, the trial judge held that the evidence did not raise an issue as to Cooper’s sanity and would not be heard by the jury. Further, the trial judge refused all of Cooper’s jury instructions related to the issue of a defense of insanity. Cooper was convicted of kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to concurrent terms of 30 years to life on both charges. He appealed. 

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Holohan, J.)

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