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State v. Larson

Supreme Court of Montana
103 P.3d 524 (2004)


Facts

Mark Larson (defendant) and two friends drank alcohol for several hours before Larson drove them in his truck at a high rate of speed along a rural, country road. The three occupants were not wearing seat belts. The truck veered off the road and flipped several times. The accident caused Larson and the two friends to be ejected from the truck. One of Larson’s friends died. Larson’s blood alcohol content was .12%. The State of Montana (plaintiff) charged Larson with one count of negligent homicide. At the end of the trial, Larson objected to the court’s instruction defining criminal negligence as a person acting with conscious disregard of the risk that death would occur. Larson argued the court improperly instructed the jury on the requirements for negligent homicide. The trial court overruled Larson’s objection. The jury convicted Larson on all counts, and he appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Regnier, J.)

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