State v. SandersAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of three counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person in violation of Utah Code 76-10-503(3), holding that the district court did not err in refusing the instruct the jury on an innocent possession defense.
A jury convicted Defendant of violating section 76-10-503(3) after police officers responding to a domestic complaint found Defendant in his backyard carrying a rifle. Before trial, Defendant requested an innocent possession jury instruction, but the district court denied the request. On appeal, Defendant argued that the felon-in-possession statute included an innocent possession defense. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the felon-in-possession statute does not implicitly provide an innocent possession defense; and (2) case law does not require an innocent possession defense.