Criminal Law Kindred
In the provided scenario there are a few different crimes being committed and each could be argued multiple ways.
Steve could be charged with attempted murder. He was stabbing Michelle in the chest repeatedly. Due to the details of the scenario his charge could only be attempted because Michelle got up from the attack and charged Stacy. If she later died from her injuries Steve would/could be charged with murder. Even though he was “visibly drunk” he still maintained the purposely, knowing, or reckless intent to cause harm. He was coherent enough to make statements to her about how much he loved her, but still showed an extreme indifference to life and intent cause serious bodily harm. The biggest obstacle to a murder charge for Steve is his death. He cannot be charged with anything if he cannot be alive to defend himself. This takes care of the Steve factor.
Initially Stacy could be found guilty of murder. She knowingly and intentionally took the life of another (Steve). She also expresses an intent to kill when she stated, “I have had enough of you Steve”. From the scenario it is documented that she did not care for Steve and along with her statements, it can be shown that she was “just waiting for the opportunity” to kill Steve. In her favor is the fact that she attempted to stop Steve from harming another person. Her actions, while resulting in the death of another, were in the defense of a harmed person. She possibly saved the life of Michelle by using reasonable force to stop the stabbing.
Michelle could be charged with attempted murder as well. She stabbed Stacey in the chest while screaming, “how dare you”. She intended to cause death or serious physical injury. Again, if Stacey died from the wounds suffered, Michelle could/would be charged with murder. It could also be argued that Michelle had no malice aforethought. She was being stabbed and may not have known her actions were wrong. Her extreme circumstance clouded her reasonable decision making and all she was aware of is that her boyfriend, whom she loved, was just killed. This is unlikely but still a small possibility. Without more facts from the scenario it is difficult to fully play out all possibilities.
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