Pearson v. People.
2022 CO 4. No. 20SC463. Harassment—Self-Defense—Affirmative Defense.
January 10, 2022
In this case, the Supreme Court considered whether a defendant can claim self-defense as an affirmative defense to the charge of harassment (striking, shoving, kicking), under CRS § 18-9-lll(l)(a).
The Court held that a defendant can assert self-defense as an affirmative defense to the crime of harassment so long as there is some credible evidence to allow a reasonable jury to find that the defendant acted with intent to alarm, as outlined in CRS § 18-9-lll(l)(a), as a means of self-defense. The Court also held that the district court erred by affirming the trial court’s determination that defendant was not entitled to an instruction on self-defense as an affirmative defense to his harassment charge under CRS § 18-9-lll(l)(a).
Accordingly, the district court’s judgment was reversed and the case was remanded with instructions to return the matter to the trial court for further proceedings.