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Thacker v. Commonwealth

Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
114 S.E. 504 (1922)


Facts

John Thacker (defendant) was attending a church festival with two other young men, Doc Campbell and Paul Kelly. The three men became intoxicated throughout the day. Between 10:00 and 11:00 p.m., the three men left the church and began walking down the county road. Down the road was a tent in which Mrs. J.A. Ratrie, her husband, four children, and a servant were camping for the summer. However, Ratrie’s husband was not present when the three men came upon the tent. Thacker and the other men noticed a lit lamp in the tent. Thacker commented that he was going to shoot the light out. The other men told him not to. The three men appeared at the back of the tent and asked Mrs. Ratrie if she could take care of them for the night. She declined, saying she did not have the room. The men turned and left. While walking away, Thacker fired three shots from his gun, two of which went through the tent and one passing through the head of the bed Ratrie was lying, just missing her head and her baby who was sleeping with her. Thacker was charged with, and convicted of, attempted murder and he appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (West, J.)

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