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State v. Young

2021 WL 1885054 (2021)

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State v. Young

New Mexico Court of Appeals

2021 WL 1885054 (2021)

Facts

Jared Young (defendant) and David Talley were close friends. One night, Talley went to Young’s house to hang out. After Talley arrived, he went into the living room to smoke a cigarette. Young also entered the living room. In the living room, one of Young’s roommates picked up a gun, unloaded a live round from the chamber, and handed the gun to Young. Young and Talley began to joke around with the gun. Young, believing the gun to be unloaded, pointed the gun at Talley. Talley and Young were laughing. Young jokingly threatened to shoot Talley and aimed the gun at his head. Next, Young pulled the trigger, and a live round discharged from the gun, striking and killing Talley. Young was arrested and tried for second-degree murder. Young asked the court to give a jury instruction regarding involuntary manslaughter, arguing that a reasonable jury could conclude that Young’s conduct constituted negligent use of a firearm, which is a misdemeanor. The court refused, concluding that no reasonable jury could find that Young’s conduct was anything less than aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which is a felony. Ultimately, Young was convicted of second-degree murder. Young appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Yohalem, J.)

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