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United States v. Dominique Stephens

A woman admits to shooting and killing her husband and is charged with first degree murder. She asserts that she acted in self-defense after suffering years of severe physical and emotional abuse. (This is an updated version of U.S. v. Martha Monroe)

Developed by the D.C. Street Law Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center

Dominique Stevens Case Materials

Stipulated Facts

On June 17, 2009, at 10:32 p.m., a call was received at the 911 dispatch center of the Metropolitan Police Department in New Columbia. The female caller said, “I just shot my husband,” and gave the address as 1799 Lamont Street, N.W. Detective Dana Hughes responded to the call and reached the house at 10:38 p.m. …

Controlling Law

Statutory Law

New Columbia Code § 22-2401. Murder in the first degree – Purposeful killing;

Whoever, being of sound memory and discretion, kills another purposely, either of deliberate and premeditated malice or by means of poison…is guilty of murder in the first degree.

Family Violence

Family Violence

Self-Defense

In New Columbia, the standard for self-defense is that the accused, given his or her situation, had a reasonable belief that his or her life was in imminent danger. The trier of fact (judge or jury) must put itself in the shoes of the defendant, and determine what was reasonable for the person who committed the act to believe at the time the act was committed.

For the United States

U.S. Attorneys

  • Prosecuting Attorney – Shawn
  • Assistant Prosecutor – Charles

Witnesses

  • Detective Dana Hughes, Metropolitan Police Department – Jeff
  • Tony Williams, Former Director, New Columbia Domestic Violence Shelter – Malcolm
  • Jordan Bright, Dominique Stephens’ sibling – Kayla

For the Defendant, Dominique Stephens

Defense Attorneys (can be changed)

  • Lead Defense Attorney – Bashir
  • Assistant Defense Attorney – Daniela

Witnesses

  • Dominique Stephens, Defendant – Savannah
  • Sidney Miller, M.D., Physician, New Columbia Hospital Center –
  • Dr. Bobby Phoenix, expert on Battered Woman Syndrome – Stephanie

Resources

Case Materials

Witness statements, etc.

Dominique Stevens Case Materials

Mock Trial Materials

Massachusetts Bar’s Mock Trial Suggestions for Student Attorneys

Massachusetts Bar’s Mock Trial Suggestions for Student Witnesses

Trial preparation form – MockTrial prep

Battered Women

Wikipedia and similar sites are a great way to get started with your research.

Battered woman defense

Battered Women’s Syndrome

Battered person syndrome