Can Evidence of Other Crimes Be Used to Rebut Claims of Lack of Intent or Self-Defense In a Murder Case ?
In Wuornos v. State, 644 So. 2d 1000 (Fla. 1994), Wuornos was charged with the first-degree murder of a man who picked her up while she was hitchhiking.
At trial she attempted to portray herself as the victim.
She said the decedent viciously abused her both vaginally and anally and engaged in conduct indicative of an intent to kill her.
Thus, she claimed to have acted in either self-defense or without an intent to kill.
The State was allowed to introduce evidence of other crimes to rebut Wuornos' claim of lack of intent or self-defense.
The court held, "This was a proper purpose under the Williams rule." Id. at 1007.