Lawton v. CommonwealthAnnotate this Case
Appellant Jeremy Lawton was convicted of escape in the second degree and of being a persistent felony offender in the second degree. The court of appeals affirmed. At issue on appeal was (1) whether Appellant was entitled to a directed verdict on the charge of second-degree escape, (2) whether the instruction for second-degree escape was flawed and constituted palpable error, and (3) whether the evidence presented supported an instruction for third-degree escape. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the court of appeals on the issues of the motion for directed verdict and the instruction for third-degree escape, but (2) reversed Appellant's conviction for second-degree escape because an essential element was missing from the jury instruction for second-degree escape such that it actually established a different, uncharged crime, and therefore, the instruction constituted palpable error. Remanded for a new trial.