We are of the opinion, in view of the facts as proved and admitted by the defendant himself, there is no error in the refusal to give the instructions asked, or to admit the evidence upon which they were predicated.
It is a general rule of the common law, which applies as well to indictments under statutes, that to constitute a crime there must be a criminal intent; and it is also a maxim of the law, that every man is presumed to intend the consequences of his acts. It is upon this principle that whenever a man commits an act unlawful at the common law or made so by statute, the criminal intent is presumed. It is a principle which applies to all violations of the criminal law: if, for example, a man is indicted for murder, and there is no other proof than the act of killing, the law presumes the act to be done intentionally and with malice, and pronounces it murder; yet if it is but a presumption, it may be rebutted by showing the act was committed upon sudden provocation, in self-defence, or under circumstances which gave him a reasonable cause to believe the existence of facts which excuse the act, although they do not really exist; but if so misled, he acts as he would be justified in doing were the facts what he believed them to be, he is legally innocent, provided the' acts were done without any fault or carelessness on his part. Bishop Grim. Law, § 383. The grounds of belief must be reasonable, and the acts must be performed without fault or carelessness. “There is,” says the same author in section 389, “little distinction, except in degree, between a positive will to do a wrong and an indifference whether wrong is done or not: on this ground carelessness is criminal, and within limits supplies the place of direct criminal intent.” By way of illustration, for example: If a person by careless and furious driving unintentionally run over another and kill him, it will be manslaughter; if a person in command of a steamboat by negligence or carelessness unintentionally run down a boat and the person in it is thereby drowned, he is guilty of manslaugter. Ibid.
*664So, if workmen throw stones, rubbish, or other things from a house, in the ordinary course of their business, by which a person underneath is killed, if they look out and give timely warning beforehand to those below, it will be accidental death; if without such caution, it will amount to manslaughter, at least. It was a lawful act, but done in an improper manner. Foster, C. L., 262. “It is not sufficient,” says the same author, “that the act from which death ensueth be lawful or innocent: it must be done in a proper manner and with due caution to prevent mischief.” And Mr. Bishop says (§ 389) this doctrine of negligence producing death, is onty one of the illustrations of the broader doctrine of carelessness. It pervades the criminal law in all its apartments, applying to all defences where there is room for its application.
We can see no reason why the principle does not apply to this case. The defendant, on the morning of the day of the shooting, was informed that Fagg’s mules were in his corn, and soon after, hearing his daughter hallooing at cattle, he took his gun and went into his corn field. The corn was very high, and the cattle were running very fast across the corn-rows, and without waiting to see and ascertain whose cattle they were, he fired at them and killed the prosecutor’s mule.
The defendant, in justification of the act, proposed to j>rove that his brother and one Pope, whose cattle had been in the habit of getting into his corn, had given him license to shoot their cattle, and when he shot at them he believed they were their cattle. Even if the testimony had been admitted, we do not perceive how it could have availed the defendant; for they were, in' fact, the cattle of one Patton, and if, under the circumstances, he had shot one of his cows instead of Fagg’s mule, it would have been an act of such carelessness as to have rendered the defendant criminally responsible, because he did not take any precaution to ascertain whether they were the cattle of his brother or Pope, but rashly and recklessly fired upon them. And when by his blind and indiscriminate firing at the cattle he shot the mule, his act *665was the more criminally careless, because he knew or had reason to believe that the mule was in the corn, and probably in the very crowd of cattle at which he shot, although he says he did not see the mule when he fired.
Conceding that the defendant had the legal right to shoot at the cattle of his brother and Pope, and he believed at the time that they were their cattle, his conduct was such as, in our opinion, manifested not only a culpaple indifference to the consequences of his act, but such a degree of carelessness as, in contemplation of law, supplied the place of criminal intent.
There is no error. Let this be certified, &c.
No error. , Affirmed.