If someone is accused of a felony, during the course of which someone else is killed, the defendant can be accused of felony murder. There are various felonies from which this charge could stem, including arson, burglary, rape, kidnapping and robbery.
In Atlanta, a defendant accused of felony murder has been arrested almost two years after the alleged crime was perpetrated. The man is facing a murder charge for a murder which took place in September, 2010. In the incident, two men allegedly broke into a home and told everyone to get on the floor. When one man put up a struggle, he was killed after multiple shots were fired. Three other people who were in the home at the time were injured but survived.
A felony murder charge often has the stiffest penalties associated with it, including the longest prison sentences or even the death penalty. However, though this is one of the most serious felonies with which someone can be charged, there are many defenses that can be made to the crime. Those defenses range from mistaken identity to self-defense to not guilty by reason of insanity. Additionally, if a defendant is found not guilty of the underlying felony or felonies, then he can also be found not guilty of the felony murder.
A felony charge or murder charge should never be taken lightly and is always a serious matter. Even those serious charges however can be defended and in this society, everyone is always presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Arrest made in 2010 shooting death at Atlanta recording studio,” Alexis Stevens, Sept. 24, 2012