Wednesday, June 26, 2013

KYSC - West - Instructions, Prior Acts, Reverse Batson

 Christopher West v. Commonwealth, 2011-SC-000629-MR (6/20/13)

The Court held Mr. West was entitled to a lesser included jury instruction on second degree fleeing and evading. Mr. West denied making the threats of domestic violence which elevated the offense to first degree fleeing and evading. Also the alleged threats of domestic violence occurred an hour prior to Mr. West fleeing the police, thus jurors may have believed it was too remote to find he fled “immediately” from an act of domestic violence. The Court also held prior acts of violence against other victims were inadmissible, and the Commonwealth’s reverse Batson motion was improperly granted.   

Erin Yang represented Mr. West on appeal.  At trial Mr. West was pro se, assisted by Josephine Buckner as stand-by counsel.  

Contributed by Jason Apollo Hart