Bush v. State

In Bush v. State, 908 P.2d 963 (Wyo. 1995), the Court said a "verdict must be set aside in cases where the verdict is supportable on one ground, but not on another, and it is impossible to tell which ground the jury selected." Id. at 966. Finding insufficient evidence to support one of the grounds with which the State had charged Bush, the Court reversed his conviction. Id. at 968. In Bush, a jury convicted the defendant of burglary and felony accessory. Neither the information, the jury instruction defining the elements of burglary, nor the general verdict form specified the underlying crime (larceny or a felony) supporting the burglary charge. Instead, the information and jury instruction generically stated that the defendant entered the building without authority "with intent to commit larceny or a felony therein." The court said: "Count I of the Information, Jury Instruction No. 10, and the general verdict form all fail to particularize the underlying crime that supports the burglary conviction. It is impossible to tell whether the jury relied on the crime of felony accessory or the crime of larceny when it convicted Bush of burglary. Therefore, the burglary conviction will stand, only if evidence in the record proves that Bush entered the apartment with the intent to commit both a felony and the crime of larceny. Price v. State, 807 P.2d 909, 912 (Wyo. 1991)." (Bush, 908 P.2d at 967.)