Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

North Georgia Mother Charged with Murder

Posted by Richard Lawson | Apr 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

Elba Santiago, a 25-year-old woman in Habersham County, has made headlines. Santiago has been accused of beating her 3-month-old daughter. The abuse of her infant resulted in her death.

According to reports, doctors believed that the child's injuries were consistent with child abuse. As of right now, Santiago is being held in jail without bond.

She is facing charges of cruelty to children in Georgia, aggravated battery in Georgia, and murder. As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the offense of murder in today's post.

I will also outline the offense of second degree murder which is directly correlated to the offense of child cruelty.

Murder in Georgia

Murder in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-5-1 as:

A person commits the offense of murder when he unlawfully and with malice aforethought, express or implied, causes the death of another human being.

The penalty for a murder conviction will be life in prison without parole, the death penalty, or life in prison.

The same statute also defines second degree murder as:

A person commits the offense of murder in the second degree when, in the commission of cruelty to children in the second degree, he or she causes the death of another human being irrespective of malice.

The penalty for murder in the second degree will be a prison term for a period of ten to thirty years.

Practice Note

Not everyone is accused or arrested for committing murder is guilty of committing murder. There are Georgia Criminal Defenses that can apply to a wrongful accusation of murder. These defenses include:

  • Self-Defense
  • Defense of Others
  • Accident
  • Lack of Malice

This is only a short list. There are other defenses that may apply - however, it is completely dependent on the circumstances surrounding the incident. If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact our offices today. A Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney can walk you through all of your options.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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