Texas Stamp


PD-1199-18 02/27/2019

“Whether a defendant’s failure to admit the exact manner and means of an assault as set forth in a charging instrument is a sufficient basis to deny a jury charge on self-defense.”

Ebikam was charged with assaulting Ebo, a woman he was dating, by striking her with his hand. Their conflict arose when Ebo called Ebikam and another woman answered his phone. Ebo went to Ebikam’s apartment. According to Ebo, Ebikam hit her several times. According to Ebikam, Ebo was pushing her way into his apartment and he was scared of what she was going to do to him and the woman inside. He admitted that he attempted to close the door on Ebo to prevent her from coming in. He denied striking or hitting her. At the charge conference, Ebikam asked for a self-defense instruction. The trial court denied it, and Ebikam was convicted.  

On appeal, Ebikam argued it was error to deny his self-defense instruction. The court of appeals affirmed and held that, to warrant a charge on self-defense, Ebikam had to admit to striking Ebo with his hand as alleged in the information.

Ebikam argues that as long as there is some evidence on each element of the defense, a defendant is not required either to concede to the State’s version of events or admit to every element as alleged in the charging instrument. He contends he sufficiently admitted to the assaultive conduct and that the court of appeals’s strict requirement that he admit to the manner and means conflicts with other self-defense cases in the courts of appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals.     

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