January 30, 2012

Colorado Court of Appeals - Criminal Law Decision 1-19-12

People v. Stovall            Petty Offense Escape as Predicate for Felony Murder
Facts: Essentially, bad facts make idiotic bad law. Here, Mr. Joel Stovall, a man with no prior criminal history, shot his neighbor’s dog down in redneck, cop/prison guard infested Fremont County. A deputy arrested him. However, while the deputy held him in handcuffs, Mr. Stovall’s brother, who also had no prior criminal history but a traffic case, arrived on scene with a handcuff key and two pistols. The deputy made a fatal error, and did not search the brother, Michael Stovall, prior to placing him in handcuffs. As the deputy drove the two brothers, twins, away to the jail, Michael Stovall unhinged a handcuff and shot the deputy. The deputy died. The car crashed, and the brothers borrowed a truck at gunpoint, negotiating with the man by shooting him. The brothers then fled police in the truck for about 24 hours. The police all whined that the brothers tried to kill them as the brothers attempted to avoid arrest. The prosecution threatened to go death because the deputy died. Mr. Stovall pled to all charges as a result of the threat. The Court sentenced him consecutively on each offense including a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Mr. Stovall filed a 35(c), and the trial court denied the motion. Mr. Stovall appealed.
Issue: Whether the petty offense of escape can form the predicate crime for felony murder?
Held: Yes.
Reasoning: Essentially, the Court of Appeals looked at the cop who died, and found some way, some how, on some level of reality, that a petty offense can be the predicate crime for felony murder. Why? Because the statute lists the word 'escape' as one possible predicate for felony murder. No other reasoning necessary to explain how a petty offense equates to a felony.
link to People v. Stovall here. 


  1. Issue: 11 years after the fact, one of the brothers brought a ridiculous appeal to the court because he has nothing better to do while rotting away in prison.
    Reasoning: Court went through the painful and tedious motions of upholding conviction of murder and spraying the street with bullets, paralyzing another deputy.

    I have to ask... why do you give a rat's ass about this appeal? Are you some ex-meth-head friend of the Stovall's are do you have nothing else to do but pick apart other people's horrible nightmares?

  2. Escape is not a petty offense. It's a felony and properly constitutes one of the predicate offenses that may result in a felony murder conviction.

  3. i want to marry joel

  4. They both should have been executed. End of story.

    1. yes they should have and I hope they both rot in hell!

  5. I dont think you understand the way courts work nor especially appeals.

    Their reasoning is about as sound as it gets and it's a marvel and point of pride that our courts are willing to entertain impossible, assanine and frivolous appeals by cold blooded murderers who allocuted with a mountain of evidence.

    It's not like the predicate offense needs to be as serious, it's designed as a requirement to show a motive/aggravating circumstances/premeditation depending on state law.

    Judges don't try to make laws, the just rule on it. That can occasionally be difficult and complicated, in this case it was as clear as they come. You might not like it, god knows how you could possibly defend these scum let alone disagree with a pretty clear matter if legal definition. After reading this I don't even know what you're point is other than obvious dissatisfaction.

    1. Even cop-killing scum are entitled to a fair trial and defense. To do otherwise would spit it the face of everything the justice system stands for. Now, that said, these two should have been put down like the dogs they are.

  6. A waste of public money and time .Should have been put down,not even tried. 2 bullets ,all over.

  7. WOW !! So Cool blog and great shared to Criminal Law. Thanks author for your awesome tropic and Valuable information. criminal lawyers


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