Garcia v. Commonwealth, 2012-SC-01020, Not Published; Affirmed in Part; Reversed in Part
A complicity instruction which read that the jury could find Brittney Garcia guilty of Manslaughter Second degree if she possessed the same mens rea as her co-defendant was improper. The instruction should have told the jury to find a mens rea for Garcia of the kind of culpability required for a Manslaughter Second conviction. ON retrial, the combination principal-accomplice instruction should read, in part:
That at the time Angel Tucker was killed, Defendant (Garcia) intentionally breached her legal duty to protect Angel Tucker by failing to prevent Nickolas Staples’ use of the blunt force which killed Angel Tucker;
(4) That, regardless of whether Defendant (Garcia) intended for Angel to be killed, she at least intended that Nickolas Staples seriously physically injure her…
Roy Durham of the Appeals Branch represented Ms. Garcia on appeal.
Contributed by Julia Pearson