State v. BessAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of one count of threatening with or using a dangerous weapon in a fight or quarrel, holding that there was no error in the district court's judgment.
Defendant, a detective with the Unified Police Department, was bird hunting when he angrily confronted another hunter's group with his service weapon drawn and held at his side. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court erred in treating the relevant statute's exception for persons acting in self-defense and peace officers in performance of their duties as affirmative defenses rather than elements of the offense. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) under Utah Code 76-10-506, self-defense and acting as a peace officer in performance of duties are affirmative defenses, not elements of the offense; (2) the declaration from a juror submitted by Defendant in support of his motion for a new trial was inadmissible under Utah R. Evid. 606(b); and (3) the district court's deadlock instruction was not unconstitutionally coercive.