State v. DanielsAnnotate this Case
Following a jury trial, Larry Daniels was convicted of deliberate homicide. In defense, Daniels asserted justifiable use of force. Daniels' arguments on appeal pertained to the 2009 legislative changes to the justifiable use of force statutes. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) justifiable use of force is still an affirmative defense, and the defendant has the initial burden of providing evidence to raise the defense, and then the burden of proof shifts to the State; (2) the district court correctly disallowed cross-examination concerning specific instances of the victim's violent acts under Mont. R. Evid. 405(a); (3) proper foundation was necessary before the victim's character evidence could be admitted, and under the facts of this case, the district court correctly required Daniels to lay a proper foundation by testifying; and (4) the district court correctly refused Daniels' proposed jury instructions on justifiable use of force in defense of an occupied structure and burglary as a forcible felony.