Charles v. Commonwealth – Case Brief Summary (Kentucky)

In Charles v. Commonwealth, 634 S.W.2d 407 (Ky. 1982) the defendant (Charles) became angry after being refused entrance to a poker game. He pulled a gun and pointed it at one of the other players, stating "I ought to shoot you."

The other player responded by saying "here I am." Charles then dropped the gun to his side and a struggle began, which culminated in Charles shooting the other player.

At his trial, Charles's jury was instructed that he could not claim self defense if he had provoked the confrontation.

On appeal, Charles argued that the evidence showed that he had withdrawn from the encounter, and that the jury should therefore not have been given the provocation instruction.

The appellate court ruled against Charles, holding that the evidence was "by no means uncontradicted," and that the instruction was therefore appropriate.