Monday, February 19, 2018

KYSC - Caudill - self-defense instruction

Commonwealthv. Caudill, 2016-SC-419-DG, to be published.
Wanton Endangerment and Self-Defense.

Self-protection is not a defense to conduct, to wit: wanton endangerment, that affects innocent bystanders, even though a defendant may be privileged to act in self-defense against his target. In this case, the instructions stated the jury could find Mr. Caudill guilty if they found his act of shooting a gun at his target was a wanton act placing a named third party at risk of serious physical injury. The instruction also required the jury to find Mr. Caudill was not acting in self-defense with regard to the name third party. The Kentucky Supreme Court found the “not acting in self-defense” as to the third party portion of the instruction was wrong. However, the Court found the error was harmless. 

Contributed by Euva Blandford