Recent Case From Second Degree Felony Murder Lawyer Jeffrey H. Garland
In Florida, you can be charged with felony murder when someone dies while you are committing certain types of offenses even when the death was unintentional. Felony murder carries the same potential penalties as first-degree murder. People who are convicted of felony murder can face life in prison without the possibility of parole or capital punishment. People who are charged with second-degree felony murder, which can be charged if the person who dies is a co-conspirator, can face up to life in prison. Since the stakes are very high, people who are charged with felony murder should retain an experienced second degree felony murder lawyer as soon as possible. Recently, St Lucie criminal defense lawyer Jeffrey H. Garland secured a very favorable plea on behalf of his client who was facing felony murder and other charges.
Three Charged With Felony Murder
On March 1, 2016, three men went to the Cypress Bay Mobile Home Park to complete a drug transaction. The men beat the victim and tried to rob him. He pulled out a gun and shot and killed the main perpetrator. The other two fled. All of the men had been transported to and from the scene by a woman. The three were arrested and charged with second-degree felony murder, robbery, and other offenses.
One of the men, a 37-year-old, retain attorney Jeffrey H. Garland to defend him against the charges. When the police had first contacted the man, he confessed that he was involved. Upon being retained, attorney Garland recognized that his client would need to continue cooperating with the police if he wanted to avoid a life sentence. With attorney Garland’s legal guidance and encouragement, the man provided truthful testimony about what happened in several forums, allowing the state to obtain convictions for the other two involved parties.
The woman who drove the men to the scene of the robbery and picked them up surrendered to law enforcement authorities a few days later. She also cooperated with the police based on the evidence provided by attorney Garland’s client. The woman pleaded no contest to second-degree felony murder, providing false information to law enforcement, and robbery with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to concurrent terms of seven years in prison.
The other man allegedly had a gun and helped in the assault of the victim. He was also shot by the victim during the altercation but survived. He told the police that attorney Garland’s client was not aware of what was occurring at the time of the robbery. At a plea hearing on Dec. 3, 2021, the man entered a no-contest plea to second-degree felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and robbery with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to serve 15 years on each count to be served concurrently.
Mr. Garland’s client had his plea and sentencing hearing on Dec. 31, 2021, and received by far the most favorable sentence. He entered a no-contest plea to second-degree felony murder, battery, and robbery. He was sentenced to serve six years in prison on each count to be served concurrently. The judge granted him credit for 2,111 days he had already served. This meant that out of his six-year sentence, he had already served more than five years and nine months, so he will be quickly reunited with his family.
Florida’s Felony Murder Rule
Under §784.04, Fla. Stat. (2021), a person can be charged with felony murder when someone else is killed while the defendant attempts to commit or commits one of the following crimes:
- Aggravated child abuse
- Sexual battery
- Home-invasion robbery
- Aggravated stalking
- Murder of a different person
- Aircraft piracy
- Aggravated fleeing or eluding
- Resisting an officer with violence
- Felony act of terrorism
Even if the person who is killed is also a participant in the crime, the others involved can be charged with second-degree felony murder for the co-conspirator’s death. Second-degree felony murder carries up to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The fact that attorney Garland was able to negotiate a plea agreement for his client to serve only six years with credit for time served was a victory for his client.
Get Help from a Second Degree Felony Murder Lawyer
If you are facing felony murder charges because of the actions of someone else while you were allegedly involved in attempting or perpetrating a qualifying crime, you should speak to experienced St Lucie criminal defense lawyer Jeffrey H. Garland as soon as possible. Mr. Garland has more than 40 years of experience defending people against all levels of criminal allegations. Contact us today at 772-489-2200 to request a consultation.