State v. LaFleurAnnotate this Case
A jury found Defendant guilty on various charges in two informations, both involving the physical assault of a female victim, which had been joined for trial pursuant to the state's motion. The first case regarded the victim Larrisha Washington (Washington case), and the second case regarded the victim Diana Hazard (Hazard case). Defendant appealed, claiming he was entitled to a judgment of acquittal on the charge of assault in the first degree in the Hazard case and a new trial in the Washington case. The Supreme Court (1) reversed the judgment in the Hazard case and remanded that case to the trial court with direction to render judgment of acquittal on all counts, holding (i) the trial court improperly instructed the jury in the Hazard case that "a fist can be a dangerous instrument" with regard to Defendant's conviction of assault in the first degree, and (ii) therefore, the state presented insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Defendant committed assault in the first degree; and (2) affirmed the judgment of the Washington case but vacated the sentence and remanded for resentencing, as the reversal of Defendant's convictions in the Hazard case affected the sentencing in the Washington case.