State v. Forrest
Supreme Court of NC - 1987
- D's father was admitted to the hospital. His condition was determined to be untreatable and terminal.
- D went to the hospital to see his father. Several times he told the nurses not to worry about his father since he was dying.
- D's father coughed and emitted a gurgling noise. D became very upset, pulled a pistol from his pocket, and shot his father four times in the temple.
- D never denied shooting his father and told police that he promised his father that he wouldn't let him suffer.
- Trial court found D guilty of first-degree murder.
- NC Supreme Court affirmed, D guilty of first-degree murder.
- What elements are required for a conviction of first-degree murder?
- First-degree murder is the intentional and unlawful killing of a human being with premeditation and deliberation.
- There is sufficient evidence to support a finding of deliberation and premeditation.
- Methods to determine deliberation and premeditation…
- Want of provocation on the part of the deceased
- The conduct and statements of the D before and after the killing
- Threats and declarations of the D before and during the course of the occurrence giving rise to the death of the deceased
- Ill-will or previous difficulty between the parties
- The dealing of lethal blows after the deceased has been felled and rendered helpless
- Evidence that the killing was done in a brutal manner
- The D's gun had to be cocked before each shot.
- Also, D usually had his gun while working, but D was not working on the day in question.
- D stated that he had though about putting his father out of his misery and that he would not let his father suffer.
- Deliberation and premeditation are usually proven through circumstantial evidence. (not really a mental state thing)