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State v. Howard

Utah Supreme Court
597 P.2d 878 (Utah 1979)


Howard (defendant) was engaged in an argument with a group of people at a friend’s house, and, knowing ahead of time that he might get into the argument, Howard had brought a shotgun. At one point during the argument, Danny Johnson lunged at Howard and Howard fired his shotgun at Johnson. At the same time, Stan Crager jumped in between Howard and Johnson trying to stop the fight. The shotgun blast hit Crager. Johnson then stumbled toward another gun that was sitting in the room, and Howard shot him, too. Both Crager and Johnson died. Howard was charged with two counts of first degree murder. The trial court instructed the jury on the lesser included offenses of second degree murder and manslaughter. Howard requested a jury instruction on negligent homicide as well. The trial court declined his request and the jury convicted him of second degree murder and manslaughter. Howard appealed on the grounds that the trial court erred by not instructing the jury on negligent homicide.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Maughan, J.)

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