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Criminal Law Keyed to Ohlin
State v. Reeves
Citation:916 S.W.2d 909 (1996)
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
The defendant, a 12 year old girl, and her friend, Molly Coffman, also a 12 year old girl, were students at West Carroll Middle School. On the evening of January 5, 1993, they spoke on the phone and decided to kill their homeroom teacher, Janice Geiger, with rat poison.
The girls agreed that they would place the rat poison in Geiger’s drink, and then steal her car and drive to the Smoky Mountains. The defendant contacted Dean Foutch, a local high school student, and told him about the plan. She asked him to drive Geiger’s car, but he refused.
The next day, Coffman placed a packer of rat poison in her purse and got on the school bus. While on the bus, Coffman showed her friend the poison and told her about their plan to kill the teacher. The girl informed her homeroom teacher of the plan when she arrived at school, and the teacher relayed this information to the principal.
When Geiger entered her classroom, she observed the defendant and Coffman leaning over their desk. When the girls noticed the teacher, they ran back to their seats and giggled. At that time, Geiger saw a purse lying next to her coffee cup and shortly after, Coffman was called to the principal’s office. Rat poison was found in Coffman’s purse and both the defendant and Coffman gave statements to the police about their plan to poison Geiger and steal her car.
After a trial, the defendant was found delinquent for attempting to commit second degree murder. The Court of Appeals affirmed. She appealed again, arguing that she did not make a substantial step towards the commission of second degree murder.
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