State v. Govan

In State v. Govan, 154 Ariz. 611, 615, 744 P.2d 712, 716 (App. 1987), the defendant was charged with second degree murder. 154 Ariz. at 612, 744 P.2d at 713. The state requested a lesser-included instruction on reckless manslaughter. See id. at 614, 744 P.2d at 715. Govan objected that there was no evidence to support the instruction. See id. On appeal, he argued that his theory of self-defense precluded the possibility of manslaughter, claiming that he had committed an intentional act, but that he acted in self-defense. See id. The Court affirmed Govan's conviction for reckless manslaughter, concluding that evidence that Govan and the victim were arguing, combined with evidence that the victim had shot at Govan earlier in the day and Govan's statement that he did not aim at the victim when he fired may have convinced a rational fact-finder that Govan had acted recklessly. See id. at 615, 744 P.2d at 716.