Fife v. State

In Fife v. State, 676 P.2d 565 (Wyo. 1984), the Court applied the proposition to a burglary case and reversed the defendant's conviction for aggravated burglary when the jury had been instructed in the alternative and we could not determine whether its general verdict was based upon the intent to steal or the intent to commit assault with a deadly weapon. The Court wrote: "If both theories of intent submitted to the jury were sufficiently supported by the evidence, we could uphold the general verdict on the aggravated burglary charge. However, there was insufficient evidence as a matter of law to support the intent to assault element. We cannot uphold a general jury verdict when one of the alternate theories upon which the jury could have relied is in error. If one of the alternate theories submitted to the jury is unsupported by substantial evidence, the general verdict must be set aside unless the court can ascertain that the verdict was founded upon a theory supported by substantial evidence. State v. Carothers, 84 Wn. 2d 256, 525 P.2d 731 (1974)" (Fife, 676 P.2d at 568.)