State v. LopezAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of criminal homicide murder for killing Shannon Lopez. Defendant’s defense at trial was that Shannon shot herself. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court erred in (1) admitting expert testimony that assessed Shannon’s risk of suicide, and (2) admitting evidence that Defendant had previously pointed a gun at Shannon’s had and had leveled a gun at an ex-wife and threatened to kill her. The Supreme Court agreed, holding (1) the State did not lay a sufficient foundation to demonstrate that the theory its expert employed could be reliably used to assess the suicide risk of someone who had died; (2) the district court erred by admitting the evidence of Defendant’s prior actions; and (3) the errors were harmful.