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To claim hot-blooded response to adequate provocation, the following requirements must be met: 1. There must have been adequate provocation; 2. The killing must have been in the heat of passion; 3. It must have been a sudden heat of passion—that is, the killing must have followed the provocation before there had been a reasonable opportunity for the passion to cool; 4. There must have been a causal connection between the provocation, the passion, and the fatal act.
In February 2016, appellant Jason Alcindor and Raquel Coore ended their romantic relationship. Shortly thereafter, Coore discovered she was pregnant with appellant’s child, and their daughter was born in October 2016. By March 2017, Coore was dating another man. Appellant and the other guy disliked each other. Appellant called the latter a "pedophile" because he was much older than Coore. Appellant was aware of the animosity toward him because the new guy had called and texted him on numerous occasions. Despite the constant taunting by the new guy, however, no physical altercation between the two men had occurred prior to the incident. At one occasion where the appellant took their baby to a party and promised to return the baby that night, however, appellant and Coore had an argument since it was already getting late and appellant had not returned the baby. They decided to meet for Coore to pick up the baby, she was with her partner. The turn of events at that time led to a fist fight between the two guys that led to stabbing incident where Coore’s partner died shortly after arriving at the hospital. The circuit court convicted appellant of second-degree murder and sentenced him to 30 years' incarceration. Appellant argued that the trial court erred in declining to instruct the jury on voluntary manslaughter based on hot-blooded response to adequate provocation.
Did the district court err in declining to instruct the jury on voluntary manslaughter based on hot-blooded response to adequate provocation?
The court held that appellant met his burden of presenting some evidence. Thus, the trial court should have instructed the jury on hot-blooded response to adequate provocation. The court ruled that because the jury was not given an opportunity to weigh and consider whether the stabbing stemmed from a hot-blooded response to adequate provocation, appellant’s murder conviction must be vacated and a new trial ordered.