Court: Montana Supreme Court
Citation: 2021 MT 85
Opinion Date: April 13, 2021
Judge: Beth Baker
Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Personal Injury
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court concluding that Erik Miller was justified when he used deadly force against Nicholas Tyson Frazier, holding that the district court did not err or abuse its discretion. Frazier, who was suicidal, was shot by Miller, a police officer, in his home after he pointed his gun at the Miller. The Estate brought this complaint against Miller alleging assault, wrongful death, negligence, and a violation of Frazier’s rights under the Montana Constitution. The district court entered judgment in favor of Miller, holding that Miller’s use of force was justified. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court did not err by refusing to submit a separate constitutional tort theory to the jury; (2) the special verdict form clearly and fairly presented the jury with the ultimate questions of fact; and (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion by failing to record all sidebar discussions of evidentiary objections.
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