Archive | Attempted deliberate homicide

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State v. Stewart

State v. Stewart, 2016 MT 1 (Jan. 5, 2016) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred when it denied Stewart’s request to instruct the jury on misdemeanor assault as a lesser-included offense of attempted deliberate homicide.

Short Answer: No.


Facts: After a traffic stop for speeding, Stewart took off and was pursued by officers from the Highway Patrol, the Cascade County Sheriff’s Department, and the Judith Basin County Sheriff’s Department. He threw several pipe bombs out the window toward the pursuers. Eventually, his tires shredded from a spike strip, he got out of the car with a handgun and ran until he was apprehended. No one fired any shots. Stewart told the officers he did not mean to hurt anyone.…

State v. Root

State v. Root, 2015 MT 310 (Oct. 27, 2015) (McGrath, C.J.; Cotter, J., dissenting) (4-3, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether Root’s attorney was ineffective for not requesting an accomplice instruction; and (2) whether the district court erred in denying Root’s motion to dismiss based on the prosecution’s failure to disclose a video statement of a witness.

Short Answer: (1) No; and (2) no, with Justices Cotter, McKinnon, and Shea dissenting on (2).


Facts: Lawrence Lee was stabbed in the arm and neck while in his pickup truck with Root and juvenile S.R. Lee and S.R. testified that Root stabbed Lee, after which S.R. jumped out of the truck and Lee pushed Root out of the truck. S.R. testified that after Lee left, S.R.…