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State v. Worthy

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division
746 A.2d 1063 (2000)


Brian Worthy (defendant) and 16-year old K.B. were lifelong friends. Late one evening, K.B. left her sister’s house and walked toward a friend’s car. As she got into the vehicle, Worthy suddenly appeared and jumped into the driver’s seat. The car, which was running and in gear, began to buck as it slowly moved forward around five miles per hour. Worthy told K.B. to shut the door so that she did not hurt herself. K.B. later testified that Worthy drove around the neighborhood at approximately 25 to 30 miles per hour, remained calm and under control, and never threatened her. Less than one hour later, Worthy returned the car one block from the sister’s house. The State of New Jersey (plaintiff) charged Worthy with third-degree criminal restraint. After the trial, the court instructed the jury on the elements of criminal restraint and the required mental state to carry out the crime. Defense counsel objected to the instruction, arguing that the court failed to make clear that the requisite mens rea of knowledge applied to all elements of the offense. The trial court overruled the objection. The jury convicted Worthy and he appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Havey, J.)

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