Suprenant v. State
Court of Appeals of Indiana
925 N.E.2d 1280 (2010)
Jack Suprenant (defendant) suspected that partner Kerry Bruckman was having an affair. The couple argued for several days until Bruckman decided to leave with Suprenant’s children. Bruckman told Suprenant the relationship was over and began to pack some belongings. Suprenant pleaded with Bruckman to stay. When Bruckman refused, Suprenant became enraged and began stabbing Bruckman. Bruckman’s screaming awakened the children, who ran into the couple’s bedroom. Suprenant chased the children back to bed, returned to the couple’s bedroom, and continued to stab Bruckman until Bruckman died. At Suprenant’s murder trial, the court refused to instruct the jury on voluntary manslaughter. The court found Bruckman’s statement that the relationship was over insufficient to support a finding that Suprenant committed the murder in a sudden heat under the voluntary-manslaughter statute. A jury convicted Suprenant of murder. Suprenant appealed, arguing that Bruckman’s words—combined with Bruckman’s gathering of her belongings—constituted sufficient provocation to warrant a jury instruction on manslaughter.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bailey, J.)
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