from a judgment of conviction, pursuant to a jury verdict, of
battery with the use of a deadly weapon. Second Judicial
District Court, Washoe County; Lynne K. Simons, Judge.
H. Wiener, Reno, for Appellant.
Paul Laxalt, Attorney General, Carson City; Christopher J.
Hicks, District Attorney, and Stephan Hollandsworth, Deputy
District Attorney, Washoe County, for Respondent.
HARDESTY, PARRAGUIRRE and STIGLICH, JJ.
issue in this appeal is the definition of "deadly
weapon" within the context of battery. Daniel Rodriguez
contends the jury instruction that led to his conviction for
battery with the use of a deadly weapon was erroneous because
the object he used to stab his victim-a screwdriver-is not
designed to be inherently dangerous. We disagree because,
within the context of battery, "deadly weapon"
includes an instrument which, under the circumstances in
which it is used, is readily capable of causing substantial
bodily harm or death. The jury instructions accurately stated
that definition. Therefore, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Daniel Rodriguez used a screwdriver to stab a 66-year-old man
in the neck. The screwdriver was four to six inches long. It
broke through the victim's skin, causing bleeding and one
night of hospitalization. The State charged Rodriguez with
battery with the use of a deadly weapon, causing substantial
bodily harm, against a person at least sixty years of age.
to trial, Rodriguez repeatedly contested the "deadly
weapon" allegation, arguing that a screwdriver could not
meet the narrow definition of "deadly weapon" he
claimed applies to NRS 200.481(2)(e), which governs the crime
of battery with the use of a deadly weapon. The district
court rejected Rodriguez's motions to dismiss the deadly
came time to settle jury instructions, Rodriguez and the
State submitted competing "deadly weapon"
definitions. Rodriguez submitted an "inherently
A deadly weapon is any instrument which, if used in the
ordinary manner contemplated by its design or construction,
will, or is likely to cause a life-threatening injury or
State offered a "functional" definition:
A "deadly weapon" is defined as any weapon, device,
instrument, material or substance which, under the
circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used or
threatened to be used, is readily capable of ...