State v. EricksonAnnotate this Case
Defendant was charged with aggravated assault or, in the alternative, criminal endangerment. At the close of the State’s case-in-chief, Defendant moved to dismiss for insufficient evidence, arguing that the State had not met its burden of proving that Defendant was not justified in his use of force. The district court denied the motion. A jury found Defendant guilty of criminal endangerment and not guilty of aggravated assault. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the State presented sufficient evidence to prove that Defendant was not justified in his use of force, and therefore, the district court did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to dismiss; and (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in giving the jury an “aggressor” instruction pursuant to Mont. Code Ann. 45-3-105(2)(a).