Cody Jesse Augustine is asking the Utah Court of Appeals to throw out his conviction for attempted murder because he was under “extreme emotional distress” while participating in a knife and axe attack of a 17-year-old boy. The Utah Attorney General’s Office will argue Augustine cannot use that defense if the distress was caused by intentionally attacking the victim.
On July 28, 2008, Augustine and Scott Stapley confronted the victim because Augustine suspected the victim had given his girlfriend a sexually transmitted disease. Stapley hit the victim in the neck with an axe and Augustine stabbed him in the back with a knife. The victim survived but spent five days in the hospital to treat 12 wounds, including five stab wounds.
The jury found Augustine guilty as charged and he is now serving a sentence of three years to life in prison. Some of the issues raised in Augustine’s appeal include:
• The judge should have allowed an expert to testify Augustine was experiencing extreme emotional distress during the stabbing.
• The defense attorney was ineffective for improperly handling the jury instructions on emotional distress.
During oral argument, Assistant Attorney General Karen Klucznik will ask the Court of Appeals to affirm Augustine’s conviction because Augustine was not entitled to an extreme emotional distress defense where “the events triggering his emotional distress were the product of his intentional attack.”
Who: Assistant Attorney General Karen Klucznik
What: Oral arguments for the State of Utah vs. Cody Jesse Augustine appeal
When: 9:30 a.m., Thursday, February 14, 2013
Where: Utah Court of Appeals, Matheson Courthouse, 450 S. State, Salt Lake City