LAYTON — A motion to toss a jury verdict in the hopes of acquittal or a new trial for a West Point man convicted of manslaughter was dismissed by a district judge Monday in Davis County.
The conviction against Robin William Lundin, 30, was upheld after Judge David Hamilton ruled members of the jury had been properly instructed and struck down arguments made by Lundin’s attorney, Randall Richards.
Lundin was charged with murder, a first-degree felony, after 30-year-old Scott Barney was shot and killed in Lundin’s West Point home in November 2017. Lundin and Barney were involved in a fight that later led to the shooting. Lundin sustained cuts to his face during the altercation.
During his trial in October, the jury had three options for the verdict, according to court documents: not guilty; guilty of manslaughter under imperfect self-defense; or guilty of murder. Jury members did not find Lundin guilty of murder, but instead convicted him of second-degree felony manslaughter.
Shortly after Lundin’s conviction, Richards filed a motion to arrest judgement, effectively asking for an acquittal or new trial, arguing that his client shot Barney in self-defense, and that the state had not provided evidence to prove his client’s actions were not legally justified. Richards argued that to convict Lundin of manslaughter, the state had to prove he had either instigated the fight, committed the crime while committing a felony or if the two parties were engaging in “combat by agreement.”
Richards also argued that the jury was not properly instructed regarding the definition of imperfect self defense, according to court documents.
Davis County prosecutors disputed Richards’ reasoning, and argued in a reply to the motion that Richards’ argument misconstrued the state statutes.
During the Monday hearing in Layton’s 2nd District Court, Deputy Davis County Attorney Ben Willoughby argued that Barney was “not a threat” when he was shot by Lundin, and that the state has never thrown out a conviction with such a defense. Willoughby also argued that the defense never requested the jury to be instructed regarding imperfect self defense, and therefore cannot complain that the instruction was not given.
Hamilton told the court he would rule on the motion Monday, and took roughly a half hour to make his decision.
In the end, Hamilton sided with the state, striking down Lundin’s motion and moving the West Point man closer to his sentence. He ruled that the jury did have the ability to find Lundin guilty of manslaughter, and the court did not err in the jury instruction.
Lundin’s next court appearance will be for his sentencing hearing, which will take place Feb. 20 in Farmington’s 2nd District Court. Lundin was present for the Monday hearing, and he is being held without bail at the Davis County Jail.