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State v. Myers
New Jersey Supreme Court
81 A.2d 710 (1951)
Richard Myers (defendant) and his wife had a controversial marriage that consisted of frequent violent arguments and separations followed by reconciliations. Prior to the date of the commission of the crime in question, Myers’s wife had left him. Myers later saw his wife enter a tavern accompanied by two men. Myers went to the tavern and called his wife outside, but, before she could explain where she had been, he slapped her across the face. In an attempt to escape, Myers’s wife ran toward a bridge that crossed the Passaic River. Myers chased after his wife and hit her countless more times with open hands or a fist, calling her vile names interwoven with intense profanities in the process. Myers’s wife sobbed and begged him to stop. The fight continued to escalate until Myers told his wife to jump into the river or else he would push her in. After Myers told his wife this for the third time, she dropped into the river. Myers’s wife hollered and cried out for Myers to help her. Myers watched as his wife was carried downstream by the current and then left for his mother’s house. Myers knew his wife could not swim. Myers was convicted of murder in the first degree. Myers appealed his conviction on grounds that there was no evidence of an intent to kill the deceased.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wachenfeld, J.)
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