Atlanta, Ga. – According to reports out of Downtown Atlanta, a fifteen-year-old girl is dead after a shooting in the Hyatt Regency.
A sixteen-year-old boy has been charged with her murder. Officers reported: “Preliminary investigation suggests that the victim was inside of a room at the Hyatt Regency with a juvenile male companion. A verbal dispute occurred between both parties which resulted in the juvenile male fatally shooting the victim.”
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I will outline the laws of the various homicide offenses in the state of Georgia. Homicide is defined as the unlawful killing of one person by another. There are several different types of homicide as demonstrated below.
Homicide Offenses in Georgia
There are two different types of murder in Georgia – Malice Murder in Georgia and Felony Murder in Georgia.
Malice Murder is defined by Georgia Law 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.” O.C.G.A. §16-5-1(a).
The offense of murder requires malice. Malice is defined as having a wicked or corrupt motive or an intention to do evil. Malice is implied by the Court 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.
Felony Murder is defined by Georgia law 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.” O.C.G.A. §16-5-1(c).
This is possibly the most misunderstood in regard to all the different types of criminal homicide offenses.
A person is concerned in the commission of a crime if he or she:
- Directly commits the crime;
- Causes some other person to commit the crime under such circumstances that the other person is not guilty of any crime either in fact or because of legal incapacity;
- Aids or abets in the commission of the crime; or
- Advises, encourages, hires, counsels, or procures another to commit the crime.
In order to convict the accused person, the prosecution must show that the accused person either attempted or completed a felony that is deemed serious or inherently dangerous under Georgia law. The penalty for a felony murder conviction is a life sentence in prison without parole, the death penalty, or life in prison.
Manslaughter in Georgia is divided into two separate offenses by law - Involuntary Manslaughter in Georgia and Voluntary Manslaughter in Georgia.
Involuntary Manslaughter is defined by Georgia law as:
A person commits the offense of involuntary manslaughter in the commission of an unlawful act when he causes the death of another human being without any intention to do so:
1) by the commission of an unlawful act other than a felony;
2) or by the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm. O.C.G.A. §16-5-3.
If convicted of involuntary manslaughter by the commission of an unlawful act other than a felony, the punishment can include between one and ten years imprisonment.
If convicted of involuntary manslaughter by the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm, the punishment can include up to a year in jail, a fine, or both.
Voluntary Manslaughter is defined by Georgia law as:
A person commits the offense of voluntary manslaughter when he or she causes the death of another human being under circumstances which would otherwise be murder and if he acts solely as a result of a sudden, violent, and irresistible passion resulting from serious provocation sufficient to excite such passion in a reasonable person; however, if there should have been an interval between the provocation and the killing sufficient for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard, of which the jury in all cases shall be the judge, the killing shall be attributed to deliberate revenge and be punished as murder. O.C.G.A. §16-5-2.
If convicted of voluntary manslaughter in Georgia, the punishment can include one to twenty years of imprisonment.
Homicide offenses are the most serious crimes known to man. It is important to have serious representation if you or a loved one has been accused of homicide. Call our offices today.
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