State v. Osbourne
The state can satisfy the substantial step element of attempt to commit assault in the first degree by proving that the defendant, while acting with the conscious objective or purpose of causing serious physical injury to the alleged victim by shooting him with a gun, engaged in conduct strongly corroborative of that criminal purpose that was at least the start of a line of conduct that would lead naturally to the commission of that crime. The jury was presented with the following evidence. Uniformed police officers stopped Lorenzo Osbourne and his companion, who attempted to flee and were apprehended. Osbourne continually physically resisted despite being shocked repeatedly by a Taser gun. The Taser's camera recorded the encounter. Officers testified that, for an approximately five second tasing cycle, the shock completely incapacitates the target. After two cycles, Osbourne reached for his pocket and partially removed a gun. Officers testified that Osbourne held the gun during the third cycle until it fell and discharged. Following a jury trial, Osbourne was convicted of multiple crimes. Osbourne appealed claiming, inter alia, that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction on counts of attempt to commit assault in the first degree. He argued that his conduct could not be found intentional because it was immediately preceded by tasing, which disabled him from deliberate physical movement. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. The defendant's act of reaching into his pocket and grabbing a cocked and loaded gun while struggling with three officers attempting to subdue him reasonably could have been found to have been the start of a line of conduct leading naturally to securing the gun and using it to shoot and cause serious physical injury to each officer, and to have been strongly corroborative of his alleged purpose to engage in such conduct and cause such results and, thus, committing assault in the first degree against each officer. Alleged inconsistencies between the officers' testimony and the video did not require the jury to discount all of the officers' testimony. The jury reasonably could have determined that the video did not necessarily raise a reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant reached into his pocket and grabbed his gun. An unpreserved claim failed regarding the denial of a jury request to view the video in the deliberating room.