Supreme Court 9/16/10

It must be the week of the unsympathetic defendant.

Tillis v. State.  Tillis was convicted of simple assault on an employee of a private correctional facility.  Tillis was serving a sentence in Walnut Grove for grand larceny.  While there, Nurse Kathy Hogue was administering medicine to the inmates.  When she put her hand through the feeding slot to give Tillis his medicine, Tillis grabbed her hand and attempted to take the rings off her finger, which resulted in Ms. Hogue having her ring finger fractured.  Where Tillis thought he was going to get away to with the rings, I have no idea.

Tillis appealed on the grounds that Ms. Hogue was actually employed by Health Insurance, and merely worked at Walnut Grove, and as such the charge could not be sustained.  The Majority held that Ms. Hogue held dual employment and as such the conviction should stand.  Justice Kitchens dissented on the grounds that who Ms. Hogue was employed by was a jury question, and as such, the Jury Instruction stating she was employed by Walnut Grove took a question of fact, out of the jury’s finding.

Banyard v. State.  Banyard was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison.  Banyard appealed on the grounds that he was denied his “duress” jury instruction.  The Supreme Court agreed and remanded the case for a new trial.

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