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State v. Ouellette

Maine Supreme Judicial Court
37 A.3d 921 (2011)


Facts

Mike Nadeau and another individual were driving around town when they learned that Kenny Ouellette (defendant) was also driving around with a 15-year-old girl that Nadeau knew. After calling the girl’s cell phone, Nadeau told Ouellette that he was going to find him and hurt him. After the conversation, Ouellette took the girl back to her home and drove away. A short time later, Ouellette’s vehicle crossed paths with the one driven by Nadeau. Nadeau turned his vehicle around and began to closely follow Ouellette. After both cars stopped at a red light, Nadeau and the passenger got out of their vehicle and approached Ouellette. Ouellette, who later testified that he felt scared and threatened that the two men were going to jump him, stepped out of his vehicle with a baseball bat and began swinging it. Ouellette hit Nadeau on the wrist and smashed the taillight on Nadeau’s truck and then returned to his car and drove away. Ouellette later reported the incident to a police officer and stated that he had acted in self-defense. Ouellette was charged with assault, reckless conduct, and criminal mischief. Prior to trial, the court dismissed the criminal mischief charge because Ouellette and Nadeau had entered into an accord and satisfaction. At the close of the evidence Ouellette requested that the judge instruct the jury on self-defense as justification for the reckless conduct count and also asked the court to inform the jury that the criminal mischief count was dismissed due to the out-of-court accord and satisfaction. The court denied both requests and a jury convicted Ouellette of reckless conduct but found him not guilty of assault. Ouellette appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gorman, J.)

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