State v. GouldingAnnotate this Case
Allen Kissner asked Robert Goulding to take Kissner's life with a gun. Goulding agreed and fatally shot Kissner. A jury found Goulding guilty of first degree murder. Goulding appealed, arguing (1) that the trial court erred in instructing the jury that as a matter of law it was not suicide if a person other than the decedent performed the overt act resulting in the decedent's death; (2) the court erred in refusing defense instructions that would have supported an alternative assisted suicide conviction; and (3) the court erred in prohibiting Goulding from referring to the assisted suicide statute. After an analysis of the relevant statutes, the Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because a "killing by the accused" is not an element of assisted suicide, and because there is no dispute that Goulding committed the overt act that directly caused Kissner's death, Goulding could not have committed assisted suicide.