A man in South Georgia is facing both child cruelty and murder charges after the death of a 5-month-old infant. Not many details have been released, however, the man was arrested on Friday. This was two days after the infant passed away. The results of the investigation so far show an autopsy that reveals severe head trauma.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline how the offense child cruelty and murder are related.
Child Cruelty and Second Degree Murder in Georgia
Child Cruelty in Georgia is legally defined in various degrees. However, second degree child cruelty is a prerequisite to the crime of second degree murder in this state.
Second degree child cruelty is defined as:
Any person commits the offense of cruelty to children in the first degree when such person maliciously causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.
Second Degree Murder in Georgia differs greatly from the offense of murder in Georgia. Second degree murder in Georgia is defined 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.
A person convicted or found guilty of second degree murder faces a penalty of a prison term for a period of ten to thirty years.
Second degree murder is not a crime we see charged frequently in the state of Georgia. We hear mostly about:
- Involuntary Manslaughter in Georgia
- Voluntary Manslaughter in Georgia
- Murder in Georgia
- Felony Murder in Georgia
All of these homicide offenses have different legal elements and therefore, need to be represented by a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney who understands the different nuances.
As serious as homicidal offenses are, they are to be handled the same as any other offense. A person accused of a homicidal offense is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in the state of Georgia, contact our offices today.