CATHERINE M. PILEGGI, Appellant,
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.
final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
and cross-appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth
Judicial Circuit, Broward County; John D. Fry, Judge; L.T.
Case No. 11-11540CF10A.
L. Udolf of Bruce L. Udolf, PA, Fort Lauderdale, for
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Anesha Worthy,
Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.
Pileggi ("Defendant") appeals her judgment of
conviction for second degree murder. Defendant raises two
arguments on appeal: (1) the trial court erred in denying her
motion for judgment of acquittal; and (2) she was denied due
process by not being given the opportunity to perform an
independent autopsy. The State cross-appeals, arguing that in
the event of reversal, the court improperly denied the
State's request to limit the jury instruction on the
justifiable use of deadly force. We affirm Defendant's
conviction without further comment. Recognizing that our
decision on Defendant's appeal renders the State's
cross-appeal moot, we nonetheless address the State's
contention that the justifiable use of deadly force
instruction as given was wrong.
was charged with the murder of her longtime boyfriend. At
trial, Defendant admitted that she shot and stabbed the
Victim, but claimed that she was a battered woman and did so
in self-defense. Both sides presented substantial evidence to
support their respective positions. Because self-defense was
an issue, when it came time to charge the jury, the court
read the following instruction which was modeled after
Standard Jury Instruction 3.6(f):
An issue in this case is whether the defendant acted in
It is a defense to the crime of murder in the second degree
and to the lesser included crime of manslaughter if the
actions of [Defendant] constituted the justifiable use of
Deadly force means force likely to cause death or great
The use of deadly force is justifiable if the defendant
reasonably believed that such force is necessary to prevent
imminent death or great bodily harm to her while resisting:
1) Another's attempt to murder her; or
2) Any attempt to commit manslaughter or aggravated assault
upon her; or
3) Any attempt to commit manslaughter or aggravated assault
upon or in any ...