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State v. Mitzel

1989 WL 110827 (1989)

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State v. Mitzel

Ohio Court of Appeals

1989 WL 110827 (1989)

Facts

Robert Mitzel (defendant) and Randall Ralston grew up together and were friends. Ralston asked Mitzel to shoot someone for him. Ralston had been depressed, and Mitzel realized that the person Ralston wanted Mitzel to shoot was Ralston himself. Mitzel and Ralston picked up Mitzel’s rifle, purchased ammunition, drove to a building, and proceeded into the woods behind the building. Either Ralston fired the first shot or Mitzel assisted Ralston in pulling the trigger. After the first shot, Ralston rolled around on the ground and asked Mitzel to shoot him until he was dead. Mitzel shot Ralston three times after the initial shot. The rifle required that Mitzel open the chamber to eject the spent casing, insert a new shell, close the chamber, cock the hammer, aim, and pull the trigger each time he fired a shot. Mitzel was convicted of murder. On appeal, Mitzel argued that he was denied effective assistance of counsel because his counsel did not request a jury instruction on aiding and abetting a suicide, which was not a crime in Ohio, and the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on aiding and abetting.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ford, J.)

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