Gwinnett County, Ga. - A teenager has been arrested on felony murder charges after police accused him of fatally shooting two men in a home in Gwinnett County.
The nineteen-year-old was arrested on Friday. Police discovered the victims' bodies on Thursday - one was a twenty-year-old - the other was twenty-three. Both bodies had gunshot wounds when discovered by a mutual friend.
The accused teenager had been arrested on felony drug charges earlier in the month in Cobb County. The police report shows that he told police that he was selling the narcotics that had been discovered in his vehicle.
All of the offenses currently faced by the teenager are serious felonies. However, as a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will focus the topic of today's post on the crime of felony murder. Homicide offenses are confusing as there are many different types. In Georgia alone, homicide offenses range from murder to involuntary manslaughter. Felony murder out of the category of homicide laws is one of the most confusing. For an explanation, see below.
Felony Murder in Georgia
Felony Murder in Georgia is defined by law in O.C.G.A. §16-15-1 as:
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.
The best way to explain this law is through a hypothetical situation. “A” decides to break into a house, committing burglary in Georgia. However, “A” doesn't know that “B” is in the home. “A,” surprised by “B” being present in the home and intending to burglarize the home, ends up accidentally killing “B” during the burglary. “A” will be convicted of felony murder because of the mere fact that he was committing a felony (burglary), and “B” was killed during the commission of the crime.
The offense of felony murder occurs when an individual commits a serious or inherently dangerous felony, and someone else dies during the course of committing or attempting to commit the felony. Felonies that are inherently dangerous include burglary, arson, rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault and cruelty to children.
The penalty for a felony murder conviction in Georgia is either life in prison with or without parole or the death penalty.
If you have been arrested in the state of Georgia, call our lawyers today. No one should attempt to dissect the law on their own. Call us now.