Tuesday, May 23, 2006

BB Pistol Not a Deadly Weapon

State v. Johnson, 05-0558 (Iowa Ct. App. 2006).

Johnson robbed the Metrobank in Davenport using a BB pistol as a flash weapon. The defendant also threatened a bystander with the BB pistol. At trial, the district court instructed the jury that the State was required to prove that the defendant was armed with a dangerous weapon, and specifically that a BB gun was a dangerous weapon.

The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case for a new trial, holding that a BB gun was not, per se, a deadly weapon and that factual decision was improperly taken from the jury. As this conclusion prejudiced Johnson, the case merited a retrial.



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