State v. Curry

45 Ohio St. 3d 109 (1989)

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State v. Curry

Ohio Supreme Court
45 Ohio St. 3d 109 (1989)

  • Written by Sharon Feldman, JD

Facts

While driving, Barbara Curry (defendant) crossed the center line into the path of an oncoming truck. The vehicles collided, and the truck driver was killed. Curry was charged with negligent vehicular homicide. Curry pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. During the bench trial, Curry presented evidence that she was emotionally distraught because of her separation from her husband, did not sleep for three days before the accident, and appeared to be in a daze. A psychiatrist testified that Curry suffered from a disorganization of thought that made her incapable of appreciating her conduct was criminal. Rejecting Curry’s insanity defense, the trial court found that Curry’s personal problems and self-imposed lack of sleep made her unable to mentally concern herself with traffic laws. The court of appeals reversed, holding that insanity is a defense to negligent vehicular homicide and Curry had established the defense. The state (plaintiff) appealed, arguing that (1) insanity is only a defense if it negates the intent element of the offense, and negligent vehicular homicide does not require an intent to kill; and (2) the evidence was insufficient to establish the defense.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wright, J.)

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