To was convicted of second degree murder at trial and was sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison.  The trial judge erred by refusing to instruct on self defense, involuntary manslaughter and accident.  Debra Wegman wrote and argued the appeal to the Second District and won a full reversal of the conviction.   In the Court of Appeal’s sharply worded opinion it rebuked the trial judge and completely adopted Ms. Wegman’s legal arguments:


“In light of this conclusion, reversal for retrial is required. . . . . Needless to say, if the evidence is identical to that presented at the first trial, the trial court is required to submit instructions about self-defense, imperfect self-defense, a killing committed in the heat of passion, involuntary manslaughter, and accident. If the evidence differs, the trial court is to apply the principles and authorities set forth in this opinion in deciding on the instructions to be used.”