When a court decides whether there is sufficient evidence to support a verdict of the jury and the judgment of a trial court, the court must review the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution. The trial court's determination must be made based on whether, at the time the motions were made, a jury could by fair inference could find the defendant guilty. In applying this standard, the appellate court will only determine if legal evidence was presented from which the jury could find a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Defendant was convicted of murder, and sentenced to 20 years in the penitentiary. Defendant appeals, claiming that the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude that the defendant was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Did the State present sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude that defendant was guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt after a showing that he fired a pistol at a passing auto?
In affirming the defendant's conviction, the appellate court found that the State presented sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude that defendant was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The court found that the evidence supported the jury finding that defendant recklessly and unjustifiably engaged in conduct that showed extreme indifference to human life, created a great risk to others, and caused a death when he fired a pistol at another vehicle on a highway without excuse or without being provoked. The court stated defendant's act of firing into the vehicle was sufficient evidence for the jury to determine that defendant was aware of the extreme risk of death to others and that he consciously disregarded it. The court also stated that the evidence was sufficient to show defendant's conduct amounted to a gross deviation from a reasonable person's standard of conduct.