3 Del. 571 (Del.Oyer.Ter. 1842), State v. Jefferson

Citation3 Del. 571
Opinion JudgePer Curiam.
Party NameTHE STATE v. Negro BILL JEFFERSON, a slave.
AttorneyHouston, contra, for the prisoner.
CourtCourt of Oyer and Terminer of Delaware

Page 571

3 Del. 571 (Del.Oyer.Ter. 1842)



Negro BILL JEFFERSON, a slave.

Court of Oyer and Terminer of Delaware.


Fall Sessions, 1842

In an indictment, under the statute, for an assault with intent to kill, the intent must be proved; and is not to be presumed from the act, as malice is.

The prisoner was indicted for an assault and battery with intent to murder. He shot at a negro girl with a gun loaded with shot, and within shooting distance. None of the shot hit her. The prisoner, when arrested, said that he meant to cripple, but not to kill.

Gilpin, Attorney-general, contended, that as in murder malice would be implied from any act of violence carrying in itself the evidence of a depraved spirit; so in this offence the intent might be made out by the act; and if the act be such as would make it murder in case of death, it will in itself be sufficient to establish the intent.

Houston, contra, for the prisoner.

Per Curiam.

The defendant is indicted for an assault on Alice James, with intent to commit murder; and the point is made and has been argued, whether the jury must be satisfied that the defendant had an actual intention to kill; or whether the law implies the intent in case of an act likely to produce death; as it would imply the malice from such an act, where death ensued.

The act of assembly provides, that if any negro or mulatto...

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