3 Elements of Attempt to Commit a Crime in Mississippi

In Edwards v. State, 500 So. 2d 967, 969 (Miss. 1986) the Mississippi Supreme Court opined that an attempt to commit a crime consists of three elements: (1) an intent to commit a particular crime; (2) a direct ineffectual act done toward its commission; (3) the failure to consummate its commission. "When the charge is the attempt to commit a crime, an allegation of an overt act is 'mandatory.'" Hawthorne v. State, 751 So. 2d 1090 (Miss. Ct. App. 1999) (citing Watson v. State, 483 So. 2d 1326, 1328 (Miss. 1986); Maxie v. State, 330 So. 2d 277, 277-78 (Miss. 1976)). Blacks Law Dictionary, 6th Edition defines "overt act" as: An open, manifest act from which criminality may be implied. An outward act done in pursuance and manifestation of an intent or design. An open act, which must be manifestly proved. An overt act essential to establish an attempt to commit a crime is an act done to carry out the intention and it must be such as would naturally effect that result unless prevented by some extraneous cause. It must be something done that directly moves toward the crime and brings the accused nearer to its commission than mere acts of preparation or of planning, and will apparently result, in the usual and natural course of events, if not hindered by extraneous causes, in the commission of the crime itself. In Bucklew v. State, 206 So. 2d 200, 202 (Miss. 1968) the court said this: An attempt is a direct movement toward the commission of the crime after the preparations have been made; that the defendant's act must be a direct, unequivocal act toward the commission of the intended crime; that his acts must have progressed to the extent of giving him power to commit the offense and nothing but an interruption prevented the commission of the offense; that the defendant's act must reach far enough toward the accomplishment of his intention to commit the offense to amount to a commencement of the consummation or to be a step in the direct movement toward its commission; and that some appreciable fragment of the crime must be committed so that the crime would be completed if the defendant were not interrupted. Bucklew, 206 So. 2d at 203.