Indiana Judges Association (IJA) (2017)


Instruction No. 3.0540. Voluntary Manslaughter as Principal Charge.

I.C. 35-42-1-3.

The crime of voluntary manslaughter is defined by law as follows:

A person who knowingly or intentionally kills another [human being] [a fetus that has attained viability] while acting under sudden heat commits voluntary manslaughter, a Level 2 felony.

The existence of sudden heat is a mitigating factor that reduces what otherwise would be murder to voluntary manslaughter. The State has conceded the existence of sudden heat by charging voluntary manslaughter instead of murder.

Before you may convict the Defendant, the State must have proved each of the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. The Defendant

2. knowingly or intentionally

3. killed

4. [name] [a fetus that had attained viability, which is defined as the ability of a fetus to live outside the mother’s womb.]

If the State failed to prove each of elements 1 through 4 beyond a reasonable doubt, you must find the Defendant not guilty of voluntary manslaughter, a Level 2 felony, charged in Count ____________.]