Attempt to Murder Family to Collect the Insurance Money
In People v. Grant, 105 Cal. App. 2d 347, 233 P.2d 660 (Cal. Dist. Ct. App. 1951) the defendant placed a homemade bomb in his suitcase for a family trip to San Diego.
The defendant apparently intended for his family to be on the plane when it exploded, leaving him to collect the insurance money on their lives.
The bomb discharged before the plane had been filled with people, but it was extinguished before it harmed anyone.
At trial, evidence was admitted that showed if the bomb had worked properly, the plane would have crashed into the ocean. See 233 P.2d at 662-64.
In discussing the factual impossibility of the crime, the court noted that the defendant intended to cause the destruction of his family's airplane. See 233 P.2d at 667.
Even though the bomb exploded early, the defendant was still guilty of attempted murder. See id.
"Where a defendant is charged with an attempt to commit a crime it is immaterial whether the attempted crime is impossible of completion if, as in the present case, completion was apparently possible to the defendant who was acting with the intent to commit the crime of murder." Id.
Cf. Bell v. State of Nevada, 105 Nev. 352, 775 P.2d 1273, 1274 (Nev. 1989) (focusing on the specific intent to commit the substantive offense); State of New Mexico v. Lopez, 100 N.M. 291, 669 P.2d 1086, 1087 (N.M. 1983) (stating that a defendant "should be treated in accordance with the facts as he believed them to be."); State of North Carolina v. Hageman, 307 N.C. 1, 296 S.E.2d 433, 441 (N.C. 1982) (holding that "when a defendant has the specific intent to commit a crime and under the circumstances as he reasonably saw them did the acts necessary to consummate the substantive offense, but, because of facts unknown to him essential elements of the substantive offense were lacking, he may be convicted of an attempt to commit the crime.")