Provocation by Infidelity Cases In California

In People v. Berry (1976) 18 Cal.3d 509, the defendant's testimony, which was corroborated by a psychiatrist, established that three days after the defendant and the victim were married, she left. Over a two week period after she returned, she told the defendant that she had fallen in love with someone else, she had had sex with him and might now be pregnant with his child, and she wanted a divorce. She repeatedly taunted the defendant by flaunting her infidelity, then sexually exciting and demanding sex from him, and later saying she never wanted to have sex with him again. (Id. at pp. 512-513.) In People v. Borchers, supra, 50 Cal.2d 321, the defendant fell in love with the victim and within two weeks they were engaged to be married. They went to Las Vegas, but when she saw a gambler who knew her husband, she told the defendant that bigamy was not a good idea, and they simply exchanged vows to each other. the victim had financial problems, and the defendant helped solve them, gave her power of attorney over his assets, and bought a life insurance policy naming her as a beneficiary. The defendant hired a private investigator who informed him that the victim was involved with some criminals and willingly had sex with one of them, who was a pimp. She also gave him the defendant's money. One day, the defendant and victim went for a drive. She admitted her infidelity, told the defendant she wished she were dead, attempted to jump from the car, took a gun from the glove compartment, repeatedly urged the defendant to shoot her, and taunted him by calling him chicken. (Id. at pp. 323-327, 328-329.) In People v. Bridgehouse, supra, 47 Cal.2d 406, the defendant's wife told him that she had been having an affair with another man for over a year and slept with him while the defendant was at work. He filed for divorce. She told him she would fight the divorce, even if she had to lie; and she would kill him if he tried to take their children from her. Later, he went to her mother's house. the man his wife had been seeing was there, and the defendant shot him. (Id. at pp. 407-409.) In People v. Le, supra, 158 Cal.App.4th 516, the defendant's wife admitted that she was having an affair with another man. She promised to end it but did not and then loaned the man money without telling the defendant. The defendant found out about the deception and started following his wife and collecting evidence of the affair, which he then showed to her parents. They warned her to end the affair, and she promised to do so but did not. Later, the defendant and his wife quarreled about the man, and she told him, "'If you good, then you go suck his penis. Stop asking me questions.'" (Id. at pp. 519-521.) the defendant then killed the man.