People v. Wilkins

After a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of first degree murder under a felony-murder theory that the victim was killed during the commission of a burglary. During trial, the court instructed the jury that in order for the felony-murder rule to apply, the burglary and the act causing the death must be part of one "continuous transaction." The court refused Defendant's request that the jury be instructed that, for purposes of felony murder, the felony continues only until the perpetrator has reached a place of temporary safety. The court of appeal found no error in the trial court's refusal to instruct the jury on the "escape rule" and affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that it was prejudicial error to refuse the instruction on the escape rule. Remanded. View "People v. Wilkins" on Justia Law