State v. Guthrie
Supreme COA WV - 1995
- D was having a bad night at work. D and Farley were both dishwashers who got along well before the incident.
- Farley began poking fun at D and snapped him with is dishtowel several times. Once, the dishtowel flipped the D on the nose, and D became enraged.
- D pulled a knife from his pocket and stabbed Farley in the neck, killing him.
- D suffers from many psychiatric problems like panic attacks, depression, and an obsession with his nose.
- Jury instructions equated willful, deliberate, and premeditated with an intent to kill.
- Trial court found P guilty of first-degree murder.
- WV Supreme COA reversed, remanded.
- What do deliberate and premeditated mean in the first-degree murder statute.
- Deliberate and premeditated in the first-degree murder statute mean that there must be some evidence that the D considered and weighed his decision to kill.
- Premeditation and deliberation are not equivalent to intent.
- There must be some period between the formation of the intent to kill and the actual killing in order to show that the killing was by prior calculation and design in first-degree murder cases.