Under Florida law, the State can charge a defendant with felony murder if a person dies during the defendant’s commission of a felony offense. A conviction for a felony is an essential element of felony murder, and if the State cannot establish the defendant committed a felony crime, the defendant should not be found guilty of felony murder. As demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling, though, they may be found guilty of other murder offenses. If you are charged with murder or any other violent crime, it is smart to speak to a Clearwater violent crime defense attorney about your rights.
Facts of the Case
It is reported that the State indicted the defendant for first-degree murder with a firearm and robbery with a firearm or deadly weapon. The jury found the defendant guilty on the first-degree murder charge, with special findings related to firearm possession and discharge resulting in the victim’s death. On the robbery charge, the jury convicted the defendant of the lesser offense of petit theft.
Allegedly, the court sentenced him to life in prison for the murder charge and time served for the robbery charge. The defendant appealed his first-degree murder conviction, arguing that it was based on a legally inadequate legal theory.