Immediate Cause; Felonious Act; Criminal Liability

Immediate Cause

The conduct of wife A aroused the ire of her husband B. Incensed with anger almost beyond his control, B could not help but inflict physical injuries on A. Moments after B started hitting A with his fists, A suddenly complained of severe chest pains. B realizing that A was indeed in serious trouble, immediately brought her to the hospital. Despite efforts to alleviate A's pains, she died of heart attack. It turned out that she had been suffering from a lingering heart ailment.

What crime, if any, could B be held guilty of?

B could be held liable for parricide because his act of hitting his wife with his fist blows and therewith inflicting physical injuries on her, is felonious. A person committing a felonious act incurs criminal liability although the wrongful consequence is is different from what he intended.(Art.4, par.1, Revised Penal Code)

Although A died of heart attack, the said attack was generated by B's felonious act of hitting her with his fists. Such felonious act was the immediate cause of the heart attack, having materially contributed to and hastened A's death. Even though B may have acted without intent to kill his wife, lack of such intent is of no moment when the  victim dies. However, B may be given the mitigating circumstance of having acted without intention to commit so grave a wrong as that committed.(Art.13, par.3, Revised Penal Code)

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