Uniform Jury Instructions — Criminal

Chapter 51. Justification and Defense

Part I.  Justifiable Homicide

14-5170. Justifiable homicide; defense of habitation.1 

Evidence has been presented that the defendant killed __________________ (name of victim) while attempting to prevent a __________________2 in the defendant’s __________________3.

A killing in defense of __________________3 is justified if:

1.  The __________________3 was being used as the defendant’s dwelling; and

2.  It appeared to the defendant that the commission of __________________2 was immediately at hand and that it was necessary to kill the intruder to prevent the commission of __________________2; and

3.  A reasonable person in the same circumstances as the defendant would have acted as the defendant did.

The burden is on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not kill in defense of __________________3. If you have a reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant killed in defense of __________________3, you must find the defendant not guilty.


1.  If this instruction is given, add to the essential elements instruction for the offense charged, “The defendant did not kill in defense of __________________3“.

2.  Describe the felony being committed or attempted.

3.  Identify the place where the killing occurred.

[See also related jury instruction NMUJI 14-5170.]