Malicious Wounding Virginia Case Law
To support a conviction for malicious wounding under Code 18.2-51, the Commonwealth must prove that the defendant inflicted the victim's injuries "maliciously and with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable or kill." Campbell v. Commonwealth, 12 Va. App. 476, 483, 405 S.E.2d 1, 4 (1991) (en banc).
"'Malice inheres in the doing of a wrongful act intentionally, or without just cause or excuse, or as a result of ill will. It may be directly evidenced by words, or inferred from acts and conduct which necessarily result in injury.'" Hernandez v. Commonwealth, 15 Va. App. 626, 631, 426 S.E.2d 137, 140 (1993).
"Malice is evidenced either when the accused acted with a sedate, deliberate mind, and formed design, or committed a purposeful and cruel act without any or without great provocation." Branch v. Commonwealth, 14 Va. App. 836, 841, 419 S.E.2d 422, 426 (1992).
Whether malice existed is a question for the fact finder. See id. "Malice and heat of passion are mutually exclusive; malice excludes passion, and passion presupposes the absence of malice." Barrett v. Commonwealth, 231 Va. 102, 106, 341 S.E.2d 190, 192 (1986).
"In order to determine whether the accused acted in the heat of passion, it is necessary to consider the nature and degree of provocation as well as the manner in which it was resisted." Miller v. Commonwealth, 5 Va. App. 22, 25, 359 S.E.2d 841, 842 (1987).