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State v. Ulvinen 313 N.W.2d 425 (Minn. 1981)

  1. Introduction
  2. The reasoning used by the court
  3. People v. Poplar 173 N.W.2d 732 (1970)
    1. The question before the court
  4. State v. Chism 436 So.2d 464 (La. 1983)
  5. Conclusion

Helen Ulvinen is the defendant in this case. She is the mother of David Hoffman, who killed his wife Carol. On the night of August 10th, to the morning of August 11th, David Hoffman choked his wife to death. There had been issues with Carol and Helen, and David had made references to his mother that he would imagine situations and say he would kill his wife. He later confessed that he killed his wife because she made it hard for his mom to live there. He told his co-workers too. Every time, Mrs. Ulvinen would tell Mr. Hoffman that he was just joking.

[...] The answer was that Ulvinen is not guilty of being an accomplice to murder. The reasoning that the court used was that in accordance to Minn. Stat. 609.495 subd (1980) that acting as an accomplice cannot apply here because Helen is David’s mother. They discussed that Helen had no role in the murder of her daughter-in-law, and that she was just guilty of knowledge that David might or might not kill his wife, which the co-workers are guilty of also. [...]

[...] Ira pushed Gloria into the front seat, although two of Gloria’s neighbors tried stopping him. Lloyd told Duke to drive. He did until he got to a Willow Point, where Chism and Duke removed Gloria from their car. Lloyd could not help because of his leg. Duke drove off with Chism, and Ira stayed with Gloria. Duke then dropped Chism off, where he changed into his real clothes. Duke also threw the bloodstained clothes away. Chism later went to the police, where he confessed what had happened. [...]


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