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In People of the State of Michigan v. Tiffany Lynn Richard, Michigan Supreme Court ruled today that a defendant may assert a duress defense against a felony-murder charge.

What Happened in the Case?

The defendant Tiffany Richard was charged with open murder, essentially under a felony-murder theory, with the underlying felony being armed robbery. Ms. Richard agreed to help her boyfriend in a robbery. She knocked on the victim’s door to his home and was a lookout. Ms. Richard’s boyfriend went inside the house where he stabbed the victim. She then drove her boyfriend to his mother’s house, where she helped him dispose of his bloody clothing.

Ms. Richard claimed she helped her boyfriend because he had physically and sexually abused her in the past.

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