Washington Pattern Jury Instructions–Criminal (W.P.I.C.)

Part IV. Defenses  Chapter 16.  Justifiable Homicide

WA  W.P.I.C. 16.02 Justifiable Homicide—Defense of Self and Others

It is a defense to a charge of [murder] [manslaughter] that the homicide was justifiable as defined in this instruction.

Homicide is justifiable when committed in the lawful defense of [the slayer] [the slayer’s [husband] [wife] [registered domestic partner] [parent] [child] [brother] [sister]] [any person in the slayer’s presence or company] when:

1) the slayer reasonably believed that the person slain [or others whom the defendant reasonably believed were acting in concert with the person slain] intended [to commit a felony] [to inflict death or great personal injury];

2) the slayer reasonably believed that there was imminent danger of such harm being accomplished; and

3) the slayer employed such force and means as a reasonably prudent person would use under the same or similar conditions as they reasonably appeared to the slayer, taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances as they appeared to [him] [her], at the time of [and prior to] the incident.

The State has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the homicide was not justifiable. If you find that the State has not proved the absence of this defense beyond a reasonable doubt, it will be your duty to return a verdict of not guilty.