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United States v. Escamilla

467 F.2d 341 (1972)

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United States v. Escamilla

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

467 F.2d 341 (1972)

Facts

While working as part of a small research team on a glacial island of ice in the Arctic Ocean, Mario Jaime Escamilla (defendant) shot fellow employee Bennie Lightsey, who later died from his wound. Lightsey, who was intoxicated, had gone to Escamilla’s trailer looking for alcohol when the rifle Escamilla was holding discharged and the bullet struck Lightsey. At trial, the prosecution could not produce any witnesses to the shooting. However, there was significant evidence that the rifle held by Escamilla was defective in an unforeseeable way, namely that it could discharge without pulling the trigger. Escamilla was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to three years in prison. Escamilla appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Winter, J.)

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