Can An Accidental Weapon Discharge Be ''Self Defence'' ?
In Jordan v. State, 782 S.W.2d 524 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1989, pet. ref'd), a gun held by the appellant fired during a shoving match with the deceased.
The appellant testified that he pointed the loaded gun at the deceased in self-defense, but he did not know whether he pulled the trigger or the gun fired accidentally.
The appellant objected to the trial court's failure to apply self-defense to involuntary manslaughter in the jury charge.
The majority held the right of self-defense was not lost simply because the gun may have discharged accidentally. Id. at 527 (citing Sanders v. State, 632 S.W.2d 346, 348 (Tex. Crim. App. 1982); Harris v. State, 101 Tex. Crim. 33, 274 S.W. 568, 569 (1925); Merritt v. State, 85 Tex. Crim. 565, 213 S.W. 941, 942 (1919)).
Thus, the trial court reversibly erred in applying self-defense only to murder and not to involuntary manslaughter. Id.