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Colorado (2016)


State v. Sorrell (1989) 568 A.2d 376, 378

Choking the victim to the point of loss of consciousness amounted to serious bodily injury.

State v. Lee, 2019 WL 3949251, Unpublished.

All strangulations causing bodily injury must be charged under the strangulation subsection of second degree assault statute, with the offense being a felony in all instances.

People v. Bookman, 646 P.2d 924 (1982) Colorado

The defendant sexually assaulted the victim. The victim struggled. The defendant strangled the victim to calm her down. The victim died, and the defendant left her by a tree. The next day, he returned to bury her. Eventually, the police contacted him because he was the last person to see her.

He admitted applying pressure to her neck for 30 seconds.

The defendant claimed it was accident and the victim died of carotid sinus stimulation.

Convicted.  Reversed on appeal due to jury instructions.

People v. Baker (2007, Colorado) 178 P.3d 1225.

The defendant appealed his conviction of first degree assault (by strangulation), second degree kidnapping, five counts of sexual assault, and the sentence imposed. The defendant was sentenced to 24 years. Upheld.

16-year-old victim was abducted, choked to loss of consciousness, tied up, and sexually assaulted by her step-grandfather, the defendant. The defendant threatened to kill her and her family if she told anyone.

The victim suffered severe bruising from the rope around her neck, severe hemorrhaging of blood vessels in her eyes, and injury to her genitals.

The court properly allowed into evidence prior sexual assault on a different victim in New Mexico.

Substantial bodily injury is bodily injury which, either at the time of the actual injury or at a later time, involves substantial risk of death, a substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement or a substantial risk of protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part of organ of the body.

Whether an injury qualified as a substantial bodily injury is a question for the jury. Here, the victim was strangled manually and with a rope. The victim had bruises to her neck and lost consciousness during the assault.

Medical examination revealed hemorrhaging on the white part of her eyes and bruising around the eyes. Medical expert testified injuries were consistent with being choked with a rope and choking can cause loss of consciousness or death. In his opinion, the victim suffered substantial bodily injury.

State v. Sorrell (1989) 568 A.2d 376, 378, Unpublished

Choking and loss of consciousness is sufficient to show substantial bodily injury.

People v. Lee, 2020 CO 81, 476 P.3d 351, Unpublished

Hands were deadly weapon in strangulation: “We conclude that under prevailing Colorado equal protection principles, a defendant may not be charged with second degree assault based on conduct involving strangulation under both the deadly weapon and strangulation subsections of the second degree assault statute but rather must be charged under the strangulation subsection.”

People v. Bowers, 2021 COA 41, ¶ 47, Unpublished

Defendant failed to preserve issue of lay v. expert opinion – was not plain error. Two police officers testified as well as an investigator.