Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Natale

Decided: December 24, 1975.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
RICHARD LEROY NATALE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Carton, Crahay and Handler.

Per Curiam

[138 NJSuper Page 242] On January 17, 1974 defendant was charged in a 13-count indictment. The first three counts charged assault and battery on Officer Dean Washburn (N.J.S.A. 2A:90-4), assault with intent to kill Dean Washburn (N.J.S.A. 2A:90-2), and attempted use of a deadly weapon against Dean Washburn (N.J.S.A. 2A:151-56). The

next three counts charged assault and battery upon Officer Peter Ramsey (N.J.S.A. 2A:90-4), assault with intent to kill Peter Ramsey (N.J.S.A. 2A:90-2), and attempted use of a deadly weapon against Peter Ramsey (N.J.S.A. 2A:151-56). The next three counts were assault and battery on Officer Richard Dancisin (N.J.S.A. 2A:90-4), assault with intent to kill Richard Dancisin (N.J.S.A. 2A:90-2) and attempted use of a deadly weapon against Richard Dancisin (N.J.S.A. 2A:151-56). Defendant was also charged with assault with intent to kill Brian Henfey and assault with intent to kill Joseph Caiola. The final two counts were attempted use of a deadly weapon on Brian Henfey and attempted use of a deadly weapon on Joseph Caiola.

A jury trial was held. At the close of all testimony the judge ruled that each charge of attempted use of a deadly weapon merged into the assault with intent to kill the same victim so he did not permit the jury to consider those charges.

The jury found defendant not guilty of assault with intent to kill Peter Ramsey, assault with intent to kill Richard Dancisin and assault with intent to kill Joseph Caiola. It found him guilty of assault with intent to kill Dean Washburn, assault and battery on Dean Washburn, assault and battery on Peter Ramsey and assault and battery on Richard Dancisin. The judge ruled that the assault and battery on Dean Washburn merged into the assault with intent to kill Dean Washburn and molded the verdict to that effect.

Defendant was sentenced to a 10 to 12 year term for the assault with intent to kill. Three concurrent five to seven-year State Prison terms were imposed for the assaults and batteries upon the other police officers, concurrent with the previous sentence.

Defendant contends that the jury charge, to the effect that assault with intent to kill requires an intent either to kill or to inflict grievous bodily harm, was erroneous. Because the charge went to such an important element of

proof and because it was repeatedly reinforced by counsel in summation, he maintains that the error was capable of producing an unjust result and therefore requires reversal even though there was no objection to it below. R. 2:10-2. The State, as do we, agrees with defendant.

There is no doubt whatever that defendant fired the shots at the officers and that he injured two of them. He was convicted of assaulting only one, Washburn, with an intent to kill. He claimed that the first time he shot his gun only to get Washburn's attention and that the second time he shot in order to stop Washburn from shooting at him. He specifically said that he did not intend to kill any of the officers.

It was essential that the jury clearly understand what intent was necessary in order to constitute an assault with intent to kill. They were told that either one of two intents was requisite -- an intent to kill or an intent to do grievous bodily harm.

N.J.S.A. 2A:90-2 provides "[a]ny person who commits an assault with intent to kill * * * is guilty of a high misdemeanor * * *." The words of the statute are sufficiently clear; they contain no ambiguity or hidden meaning.

No case directly answers the questions whether an intent to kill may be satisfied by different or lesser intent. Nevertheless, this statutory offense, in the plain terms of the statute entails an intent to kill or take the life of the victim. See State v. Abbott , 36 N.J. 63, 73 (1961); State v. Gallagher , 83 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.