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State v. Pierce

Ohio Supreme Court
64 Ohio St. 2d 281 (1980)


Facts

Homer Pierce, Jr. (defendant) learned that his wife was having an affair with Jeffrey LaPorte. In November, Pierce threatened LaPorte with serious bodily harm. Pierce and his wife agreed to separate. Later, Pierce saw his wife with LaPorte in public and became upset. He left town for a few weeks. When Pierce returned to town, he called his wife, who was with LaPorte. Pierce again threatened LaPorte. Pierce’s wife called the police. Three days later, Pierce purchased an automatic rifle from a local store. Three days after that, Pierce spoke to several people on the phone, including his wife, his wife’s family and friends, and LaPorte. The phone conversations included a discussion of a fight between LaPorte and Pierce, which did not materialize. Early the next morning, Pierce went to the restaurant where LaPorte worked. Pierce learned that LaPorte was still at LaPorte’s home and drove there. Pierce found LaPorte in a vehicle in the driveway about to leave. Pierce then repeatedly fired the automatic rifle at LaPorte and killed him. The State of Ohio (plaintiff) charged LaPorte with aggravated murder. After the trial, the trial court instructed the jury on the murder charge and on voluntary manslaughter. The jury convicted Pierce of aggravated murder, and Pierce appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, and Pierce petitioned the Ohio Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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