United States v. Axelson
United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals
65 M.J. 501 (2007)
Major Carl W. Axelson, Jr. (defendant) took his wife and his two infant sons for a drive in the hills overlooking Athens, Greece. At some point, Axelson stopped the vehicle and asked his wife to check on their three-month-old son, who was in the back seat. Axelson’s wife got out of the vehicle to check on the baby. While she was leaning over the baby’s car seat, Axelson repeatedly beat her with a wooden club. Axelson pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon. At his providence inquiry, Axelson claimed that he had exited the car, walked a short distance, and turned around to see his wife holding a pillow over the baby’s face. The next thing Axelson remembered was striking his wife with the club, but he did not remember the rest of the attack. The military judge explained the elements of the assault charge, and Axelson agreed that, although he did not recall committing the entire attack, he was convinced based on the evidence that he had committed each element of the offense. The judge accepted Axelson’s guilty plea, and he was subsequently tried for and convicted of attempted premeditated murder. At trial, Axelson argued that he did not recall committing the entire attack. On appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals, Axelson argued that his statement during the providence inquiry and the evidence he presented at trial raised the defenses of partial mental responsibility and automatism. According to Axelson, the judge erred because the judge did not, sua sponte, recognize these defenses and explain them during the providence inquiry, nor did he instruct the members of the court-martial, sua sponte, on the defense of automatism at his trial.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Schenck, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 710,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 710,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 44,600 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.