MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE

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Murder in the First Degree is a homicide that can occur by malice aforethought and felony murder. Homicide is the killing of a human being by another human being. A murder results in an unlawful death, which means that the there is no legal justification for the killing. The defendant must also be the proximate cause of the death, which means that in most cases the death occurs as the natural and probable result of the defendant’s act, in a manner which the defendant could reasonably foresee from the performance of their act.

All Murder charges, especially Murder in the First Degree, are serious offenses in Oklahoma. It is crucial you retain a Fierce Advocate, experienced criminal defense attorney, and criminal trial lawyer to fight for you, if you have charges of this magnitude pending in criminal court. The stakes cannot be higher than facing murder charges. The only potential punishments for Murder in the First Degree are the death penalty, Life without the possibility of Parole, and Life in prison.

Malice Aforethought

Malice aforethought means a deliberate intention to take away the life of a human being. It does not mean hatred, spite or ill-will. The deliberate intent to take a human life must be formed before the act and must exist at the time a homicidal act is committed. No particular length of time is required for formation of this deliberate intent. The intent may have been formed instantly before commission of the act. The external circumstances surrounding the commission of a homicidal act may be considered in finding whether or not deliberate intent existed in the mind of the defendant to take a human life. External circumstances include words, conduct, demeanor, motive, and all other circumstances connected with a homicidal act.

A felony murder is a homicide that occurs during the commission of a: forcible rape, robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, escape from lawful custody; eluding an officer; first-degree burglary/arson; murder of a person other than the deceased; shooting or discharge of a firearm/crossbow with intent to kill a person other than the deceased; intentional discharge of a firearm or other deadly weapon into a building or public space; unlawful distributing or dispensing of controlled dangerous substances or synthetic controlled substances; trafficking illegal drugs; and manufacturing or attempting to manufacture a controlled dangerous substance.

Oklahoma Statutes

The statute for Murder in the First Degree is OKLA. STAT. tit. 21 § 701.7, which states “a person commits murder in the first degree when that person unlawfully and with malice aforethought causes the death of another human being. Malice is that deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a human being, which is manifested by external circumstances capable of proof. A person also commits the crime of murder in the first degree, regardless of malice, when that person or any other person takes the life of a human being during, or if the death of a human being results from, the commission or attempted commission of murder of another person, shooting or discharge of a firearm or crossbow with intent to kill, intentional discharge of a firearm or other deadly weapon into any dwelling or building, forcible rape, robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, escape from lawful custody, eluding an officer, first degree burglary, first degree arson, unlawful distributing or dispensing of controlled dangerous substances or synthetic controlled substances, trafficking in illegal drugs, or manufacturing or attempting to manufacture a controlled dangerous substance.

A person commits murder in the first degree when the death of a child results from the willful or malicious injuring, torturing, maiming or using of unreasonable force by said person or who shall willfully cause, procure or permit any of said acts to be done upon the child. It is sufficient for the crime of murder in the first degree that the person either willfully tortured or used unreasonable force upon the child or maliciously injured or maimed the child.

A person commits murder in the first degree when that person unlawfully and with malice aforethought solicits another person or persons to cause the death of a human being in furtherance of unlawfully manufacturing, distributing or dispensing controlled dangerous substances, as defined in the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act,1unlawfully possessing with intent to distribute or dispense controlled dangerous substances, or trafficking in illegal drugs.

A person commits murder in the first degree when that person intentionally causes the death of a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or corrections employee while the officer or employee is in the performance of official duties."

Elements of the Crime

In order to be convicted of Murder in the First Degree in Oklahoma, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The criminal defense attorneys at Cannon & Associates are FIERCE ADVOCATES for every client and will hold the government to their burden in your case. In order to be convicted of this crime; the government must prove:

For Murder in the First Degree by Malice Aforethought:

1) The death of a human;

2) the death was unlawful;

3) the death was caused by the defendant;

4) the death was caused with malice aforethought.

Oklahoma Jury Instruction #4-64.

What the Skilled Lawyers at Cannon & Associates Can Do For You

Being charged with Murder in the First Degree in Oklahoma is a serious matter. The Oklahoma criminal defense attorneys at Cannon & Associates are Fierce Advocates for Families and Freedom and will fight for you! At Cannon & Associates, we have extensive criminal defense experience, and will be with you every step of the way. We will take care to explain the issues and options to get you to your desired result and support you in this difficult time.

Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma Criminal Defense

Cannon & Associates is dedicated to Fierce Advocacy for Oklahoma criminal defendants and will fight for you. Founder John Cannon has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top 40 under 40. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights and fight your criminal case in Oklahoma. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.


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