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After Tyffany Porter rejected his sexual advances, and told him of an affair with a friend, Donyell J. McKenzie reportedly "snapped" and stabbed the woman some 47 times.

While he admitted to the killing, Donyell claimed that he acted under an "extreme emotional disturbance," and was thus guilty of first degree manslaughter rather than murder. But the trial court refused to submit that defense to the jury and Donyell was ultimately convicted of second-degree murder.

On appeal, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, didn't think Donyell's behavior was indicative of loss of self-control, but when the case got to our state's highest court, it had an entirely different view of the matter.

Even though the evidence didn't entirely support the guy's defense, the New York State Court of Appeals thought the jury could have concluded that Donyell had been so disturbed that a murder conviction wasn't warranted. And because the trial judge's omission of the desired instruction was prejudicial to the case's outcome, a new trial was ordered.

Donyell at us for that.

To view a copy of the Court of Appeals' decision, please use this link: People v. McKenzie


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