ATTEMPTED (SECOND DEGREE) MURDER -- 13 V.S.A. §§ 9 and 2301 (and common law)
The State has charged (Def)_______________ with attempted murder, as follows:
[Read the charge.]
Every crime is made up of essential elements. Before (Def)_______________ can be found guilty of the charge, the State must have proven each of the essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, the essential elements are that on the date and at the place alleged,
(2) attempted to kill (victim)_______________ by (specific acts)_______________;
(3) [he] [she] intended to kill (victim)_______________; and
(4) [his] [her] attempt was unlawful.
The first essential element is that (Def)_______________ is the person who committed the alleged acts.
The second essential element is that (Def)_______________ attempted to kill (victim)_______________. An attempt requires an open, physical act, coupled with a specific intent. Threatening words are not enough to be an act. You must distinguish between mere preparation, and the actual start of the criminal conduct. Merely planning the offense, or doing some act which might be innocent in itself, is not enough. An act is sufficient to be an attempt to commit an offense if it is done intentionally, and if it progresses far enough to be the beginning of the crime. The act must be part of a series of events which would lead to the completion of the crime, if not interrupted.
Here the State alleges that (Def)_______________ attempted to kill (victim)_______________ by (specific acts)_______________.
The third essential element is that (Def)_______________ intended to kill (victim)_______________. [He] [She] must have acted with a conscious objective of causing (victim)_______________’s death. Also, [he] [she] must have acted voluntarily, and not inadvertently, or because of mistake, or by accident. The State must have proven that (Def)_______________ did the unlawful act[s] purposely intending to accomplish the specific result of killing (victim)_______________.
The intent with which a person does an act may be shown by the way in which he or she expresses it to others, or by his or her conduct. In determining (Def)_______________’s intent, you should consider all of the surrounding facts and circumstances established by the evidence.
The last essential element is that (Def)_______________’s attempt to kill (victim)_______________ was unlawful. A killing is unlawful if it is done without legal excuse or legal justification. Legal excuse or justification ordinarily refers to such things as self-defense or legal necessity. [An attempt to kill may be justified where a person acts in self-defense, or in defense of another, or in trying to stop another person attempting to commit certain violent felonies. Here, the State must have proven that (Def)_______________ did not act in self-defense, or in defense of another, or in trying to stop another person attempting to commit (felony)_______________ with force or violence.]
All of the elements of the offense must have been present at the same time. If the State has not proven each of the essential elements of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt, then you must find (Def)_______________ not guilty. However, if the State has proven all of the essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you must return a verdict of guilty.