Vermont v. BeanAnnotate this Case
The altercation leading to defendant’s conviction occurred on July 29, 2014, at a Middlebury residential facility for persons with major mental illnesses. In a sworn statement admitted without objection, the complainant claimed that defendant initiated the altercation by pointing his finger at the complainant. The complainant responded by kicking defendant’s hand twice and telling defendant that he “needed a kick in the ass.” Suddenly, the complainant experienced blurred vision, pressure, and heat on the left side of his face. Although he initially did not know what had happened, after he saw defendant talking to him, he concluded that defendant had hit him. Defendant appealed his conviction for simple assault, arguing that the trial court erred by instructing the jury to consider simple assault as a lesser-included offense of domestic assault, the crime for which he was charged. Specifically, defendant contended: (1) that, as instructed to the jury, simple assault was not a lesser-included offense of domestic assault; and (2) that the court could not instruct the jury to consider a lesser-included offense over the defendant’s objection. Finding no reversible error, the Vermont Supreme Court affirmed.