State v. Smith

In State v. Smith, 198 W.Va. 441, 481 S.E.2d 747 (1996), the defendant, Patricia Lynn Smith, was convicted of murder of the second degree and conspiracy relating to the shooting death of her live-in boyfriend. Although the relationship between the decedent and Smith was described as "tempestuous," Smith conceded that the evidence did not meet the criteria of battered woman syndrome. Nevertheless, the record contained substantial testimony of mutual arguing, shouting, threatening and the use of profanity. 198 W.Va. at 443, 481 S.E.2d at 749. The appellant, with the assistance of her 16 year-old son, shot the decedent while he was sleeping. The Court, in Smith, held that the Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to instruct the jury on voluntary manslaughter.