Suicide, Accident or Homicide?

    "On March 23 the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and
     concluded that he died from a gunshot wound of the head caused by a
      shotgun.  Investigation to that point had revealed that the decedent
       had jumped from the top of a ten story building with the intent to
        commit suicide (he left a note indicating his despondency).  As he
         passed the 9th floor on the way down, his life was interrupted by
         a  shotgun blast through a window, killing him instantly.  Neither
         the shooter nor the decedent was aware that a safety net had been
         erected at the 8th floor level to protect some window washers and
         that the  decedent would not have been able to complete his intent
         to commit suicide because of this.
    "Ordinarily, a person who starts into motion the events with a suicide
    intent ultimately commits suicide even though the mechanism might be
    not what he intended.  That he was shot on the way to certain death nine
    stories below probably would not change his mode of death from  suicide
    to homicide.  But the fact that his suicide intent would not have been
     achieved under any circumstance caused the medical examiner  to feel
      that he had homicide on his hands.
    "Further investigation led to the discovery that the room on the 9th
     floor from whence the shotgun blast emanated was occupied by an elderly
      man and his wife.  He was threatening her with the shotgun because of
       an interspousal spat and became so upset that he could not hold the
        shotgun straight.  Therefore, when he pulled the trigger, he
         completely missed his wife and the pellets went through the window
          striking the  decedent.
    "When one intends to kill subject A, but kills subject B in the attempt,
     one is guilty of the murder of subject B.  The old man was confronted
      with this conclusion, but both he and his wife were adamant in stating
       that neither knew that the shotgun was loaded.  It was the longtime
        habit of the old man to threaten his wife with an unloaded shotgun.
          He had no intent to murder her; therefore, the killing of the
           decedent appeared then to be accident.  That is, the gun had
            been accidentally  loaded.
    "But *further* investigation turned up a witness that their son was
     seen loading the shotgun approximately six weeks prior to the fatal
      accident.  That investigation showed that the mother (the old lady)
       had cut off her son's financial support and her son, knowing the
        propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded
         the gun with the expectation that the father would shoot his mother.
           The case now  becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the
            death of Ronald Opus.
    "Further investigation revealed that the son became increasingly
     despondent over the failure of his attempt to get his mother murdered.
       This led him to jump off the ten story building on March 23, only to
        be killed by a shotgun blast through a 9th story window.
"The medical examiner closed the case as a suicide."
Sent to me by a friend, without any more substantiation than I
offer here.

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