State v. Tyler

In State v. Tyler, 149 Ariz. 312, 316-17, 718 P.2d 214, 218-19 (App. 1986) the defendant contended that the "momentary innocent handling" of a prohibited weapon did not constitute prohibited possession. 149 Ariz. at 316, 718 P.2d at 218. The defendant requested an instruction that would have directed the jury that they could not find him guilty "if they found that the government failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant possessed the shotgun in question with criminal intent." Id. Division One upheld the trial court's decision to refuse the instruction, concluding that the instruction requested by the defendant was an erroneous statement of the law because it injected a requirement of intent into the statute that went beyond the requirement of "knowing" possession. Tyler, 149 Ariz. at 316, 718 P.2d at 218. Nonetheless, the Tyler court then suggested that, had the defendant requested an instruction taken from a Kansas case, State v. Runnels, 203 Kan. 513, 456 P.2d 16 (Kan. 1969), the trial court would have been correct to present it to the jury. Tyler, 149 Ariz. at 316-17, 718 P.2d at 218-19. That instruction stated that the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt: "That the defendant . . . did wilfully have or keep a pistol in his possession with the intent to control the use and management thereof, or that the defendant did wilfully have a pistol in his control with the power and intent to guide or manage such pistol." Id.