State v. McDowell, 215 N.C. App. 184 (Sept. 6, 2011)

In a murder case, the trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s request for a jury instruction on diminished capacity. The defendant had argued that he was entitled to the instruction based on evidence that he suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome, alcohol dependence, and cognitive impairment resulting from a head injury, causing him to possibly overreact to stress or conclude that deadly force was necessary to deal with a threatening situation. The court found no evidence casting doubt on the defendant’s ability to premeditate, deliberate, or form the specific intent to kill necessary for guilt of first-degree murder on the basis of malice, premeditation, and deliberation.