State v. English

2014-Ohio-89 (2014)

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State v. English

Ohio Court of Appeals
2014-Ohio-89 (2014)

  • Written by Sharon Feldman, JD

Facts

Quayjuan English (defendant) and David Rivers were with others in and around Rivers’s car. English was given a shotgun while sitting in the back of the car. Rivers was standing on one side of the car, another individual was standing on the other side, and two individuals were seated in the front. English was “messing with” or “flicking” the shotgun’s hammer—part of the gun’s firing mechanism—when the shotgun discharged and struck Rivers in the chest from two to four feet away. Rivers died as a result of the injury. English was indicted for reckless homicide. English admitted that he flicked the shotgun’s hammer but denied having prior experience with guns, knowing whether the gun was loaded or how to determine whether it was loaded, swinging the gun, knowing where Rivers was standing, and touching the trigger. There was conflicting testimony about whether English’s finger was on the trigger and whether he held the gun in his lap or swung it around. A forensic scientist testified that when she tested what would happen if the hammer were flicked without applying pressure to the trigger, the shotgun discharged two of 25 times and thus had a “sometimes operable hammer safety.” English was convicted and argued on appeal that the court erroneously denied his motion for acquittal and that his conviction was against the manifest weight of the evidence.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Dorrian, J.)

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