State v. Landrigan

In State v. Landrigan, 176 Ariz. 1, 6, 859 P.2d 111, 116 (1993), the Arizona Supreme Court held that the trial court's failure to give an instruction on second-degree murder was not error because the instruction was not supported by the evidence. Landrigan had been convicted of the first-degree felony murder of a victim who had suffered blows to the head and had then been strangled. Id. at 3-4, 859 P.2d at 113-14. Landrigan asserted on appeal that an instruction on second-degree murder should have been given because his mother's testimony about injuries he reported in a telephone call to her could have led the jury to conclude that he had "killed the victim in response 'upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion.'" Id. at 6, 859 P.2d at 116. Though the court noted that second-degree murder is not a lesser-included offense of felony murder, it went on to evaluate whether the evidence warranted the instruction anyway. Id. at 5-6, 859 P.2d at 115-16. And the court stated that, even viewing his mother's testimony in a light most favorable to Landrigan, the evidence as a whole was insufficient to warrant an instruction on second-degree murder. Id.