First degree murder, jury says only manslaughter
Client met a man who she was to marry and they moved into a home together. One morning she decided to go with her brother and father to the target range for shooting. While at the range her gun jammed so she decided to return home early.
When she got home the front door was locked and she had left her key inside. She knocked on the front door but her boyfriend did not answer. She peeked through the window and saw her boyfriend with another women both naked.
Client was extremely upset as to what she saw as she made her way around the home to the backdoor. While she was going to the backdoor she removed her revolver from her purse and started loading the cartridges into the cylinder.
As she got to the backdoor she was met by the naked women leaving the house wrapped in a blanket. Client fired her gun killing the woman.
The police arrived and she explained what had happened after being advised of her rights. She was arrested and charged with first degree murder. The state contended the murder was per-meditated as she had to remove her gun from her purse and load it before the shooting.
Client's phoenix criminal lawyer Brian DiPietro discovered that one cartridge was placed backward into the cylinder. He argued to the jury that even though his client had shot and killed the woman, it was not first degree murder. He explained that when someone is in the "heat of the moment" meaning observing an extremely upsetting situation and kills someone under such circumstances, it is not first degree murder but only manslaughter.
Mr. DiPietro pointed out to the jury that loading a cartridge into the cylinder backwards is a difficult thing to do, and it demonstrated that client was extremely upset as to what she saw between her boyfriend and another women making the killing only manslaughter.
Though the state explained per-mediation only takes a moment to decide to deliberately murder someone the defendant had to decide to take her gun out of the purse and load it before killing the woman.
The jury was convinced that the argument by Brian DiPietro was compelling based on the evidence and found his client only guilty of manslaugher.