History of the Connecticut Judicial Seal Home Home BannerBanner

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

   
Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

6.1-4  Assault in the First Degree (Aided by Two or More Persons) -- § 53a-59 (a) (4)

Revised to December 1, 2007 (modified June 13, 2008)

The defendant is charged [in count ___] with assault in the first degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of assault in the first degree when with intent to cause serious physical injury to another person and while aided by two or more other persons actually present, (he/she) causes such injury to such person or to a third person.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:  

Element 1 - Intent to cause serious physical injury
The first element is that the defendant specifically intended to cause serious physical injury to another person.  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>

"Serious physical injury" is something more serious than mere physical injury, which is defined as "impairment of physical condition or pain."  It is more than a minor or superficial injury.  It is defined by statute as "physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health or serious loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ." 

Element 2 - Caused serious physical injury
The second element is that, acting with that intent, the defendant caused serious physical injury to another person. This means that the defendant's conduct was the proximate cause of the person's injuries.  You must find it proved beyond a reasonable doubt that <insert name of person injured> was injured as a result of the actions of the defendant.  <See Proximate Cause, Instruction 2.6-1.>

[<If person injured was not the person intended:>  It does not matter whether <insert name of person injured> was the person upon whom the defendant intended to inflict serious physical injury. It is sufficient if you find that the defendant intended to cause serious physical injury to another person and that (he/she) in fact caused serious physical injury to that person or to some other person.] 

Element 3 - Aided by two or more persons
The third element is that the defendant was aided by two or more other persons actually present when the injury occurred.  This means that two or more other persons must have been present and actively assisting in the assault.  Mere presence of inactive companions or mere acquiescence or some innocent act that in fact aids the perpetrator of the assault does not constitute aid within the meaning of the statute.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant had the specific intent to cause serious physical injury to <insert name of person injured>, 2) the defendant did cause serious physical injury to <insert name of person injured>, and 3) the defendant was aided by two or more other persons actually present.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of assault in the first degree, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.

Commentary 

Sentence Enhancer
Section 53a-59 (b) provides an enhanced penalty if the victim is either under 10 years of age or a witness if the defendant knew the victim was a witness.  The jury must find this fact proved beyond a reasonable doubt.  See Sentence Enhancers, Instruction 2.11-4.
 


 

Attorneys | Case Look-up | Courts | Directories | Educational Resources | E-Services | Español | FAQ's | Juror Information | Media | Opinions | Opportunities | Self-Help | Home

Common Legal Words | Contact Us | Site Map | Website Policies and Disclaimers

Copyright © 2011, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch