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Sunday, June 11, 2017

State v. Crisoforo Montalvo (A-76-15

 State v. Crisoforo Montalvo (A-76-15; 077331) 
The right to possess a weapon in one’s own home for self-defense would be of little effect if one were required to keep the weapon out-of-hand, picking it up only “spontaneously.” Defendant had a constitutional right to possess the machete in his home for his own defense and that of his pregnant wife. Because the trial court’s instructions did not convey this principle, the instructions were erroneous. Further, because the erroneous instructions were capable of producing an unjust result in this matter, they constitute plain error.