Chapter 51. Justification and Defense
Part I. Justifiable Homicide
NM NMRA 14-5172. Justifiable homicide; defense of another.1
Evidence has been presented that the defendant killed __________________ (name of victim) while defending another.
The killing was in defense of another if:
1. There was an appearance of immediate danger of death or great bodily harm4 to __________________2 as a result of __________________3; and
2. The defendant believed that __________________2 was in immediate danger of death or great bodily harm from __________________ (name of victim) and killed __________________ (name of victim) to prevent the death or great bodily harm; and
3. The apparent danger to __________________2 would have caused a reasonable person in the same circumstances to act as the defendant did.
The burden is on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in defense of another. If you have a reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant acted in defense of another, you must find the defendant not guilty.
1. For use when the defense theory is based upon: a reasonable ground to believe a design exists to commit a felony; a reasonable ground to believe a design exists to do great bodily harm; or a defense of spouse or other member of the family, a necessary defense against any unlawful action. If this instruction is given, add to the essential elements instruction for the offense charged, “The defendant did not act in defense of another”.
2. Give the name of the person in apparent danger, if known, and the relationship to defendant, if any. More than one person may be included.
3. Describe the unlawful act, felony or act which would result in death or some great bodily harm as established by the evidence. Give at least enough detail to put the act in the context of the evidence.
4. The definition of great bodily harm, UJI 14-131, must be given if not already given.