Residents in a Hall County neighborhood made an to authorities this weekend when they noticed one of their neighbors behaving abnormally. An ambulance came for Wendall Gregory Armour, taking him to Northeast Georgia Medical Center for a psychological evaluation according to Hall County deputies. After the ambulance left, neighbors entered the home because they were worried about the other residents. The door was unlocked, and the neighbors found Jodi Lane Gerrell, Armour's girlfriend, dead inside the home. Hall County deputies and investigators rushed back to the residence and determined that Gerrell had died from multiple stab wounds.
Armour was booked into Hall County Jail on Sunday facing murder charges according to reports.
In Georgia, terms like murder, felony murder, first-degree murder, and second-degree murder are consistently confused. So, let's do a quick run-down on the meaning of murder in Georgia.
Murder in Georgia
Murder is defined by the Georgia Code by O.C.G.A. §16-5-1. Each section of the statute defines the different types of murder in Georgia.
Murder: O.C.G.A. §16-5-1(a) “A person commits the offense of murder when he unlawfully and with malice aforethought, express or implied, causes the death of another human being.” Malice is defined as having a wicked or corrupt motive or an intention to do evil. Malice will be implied when there is no considerable provocation done by the alleged victim. The penalty for a murder conviction is a life sentence in prison without parole, the death penalty, or life in prison.
Murder in the Second Degree: O.C.G.A. §16-5-1(d) “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 is a sentence of ten to thirty years in prison.
Felony Murder: O.C.G.A. §16-5-1(c) “A person commits the offense of murder when, in the commission of a felony, he or she causes the death of another human being irrespective of malice.” This is possibly the most misunderstood in regard to all the different types of murder.
An example of felony murder in Georgia is as follows. "A" goes to burglarize a house, and the homeowner shoots at "A". The homeowner misses and shoots his own daughter, and she dies. "A" is subsequently charged with the murder of the homeowner's daughter even though he has no weapon and only meant to rob the home. The penalty for a felony murder conviction is a life sentence in prison without parole, the death penalty, or life in prison.
Without an experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, these differences are both overwhelming and difficult to understand. If you or a loved one has been charged with murder or felony murder in Georgia, you need a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney who is not only capable, but familiar with all of the different murder crimes and knows how to properly defend your case.