March 2011 Archives

Second-Degree Murder Charges After Victim Dies In Roseville Beating Case

March 21, 2011,

A Roseville woman is accused of having others beat her live-in boyfriend and failing to seek medical treatment, resulting in his death according to an article in the Oakland Press titled, "Three charged in beating death: Roseville man allegedly unconscious for 19 hours at girlfriend's home." The preliminary examination is scheduled for April 20th in the 38th District Court, which is located in the City of Roseville.

Initially, the suspects, all from Macomb County, had been charged with assault with intent to commit great bodily harm. However, the charges were enhanced to Second-Degree Murder following the death of the victim. Michigan's homicide laws and maximum penalties are as follows:

First Degree Murder: Mandatory life
Second Degree Murder: Life or any term of years
Manslaughter: 15 years
Negligent Homicide: 2 years

Manslaughter is broken down into 2 categories, voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter involves the intentional killing with circumstances involving provocation and excited passions but without lawful justification (reducing it from murder). Involuntary manslaughter involves an act by a person against another with an intent to injure or doing some act in a grossly negligent manner which causes death. The defense attorney will undoubtedly ask the court to instruct the jury on the lesser offense of manslaughter, a 15 year felony, in an effort to avoid a second degree murder conviction which can carry up to life in prison.

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Hazel Park Man Charged With Stabbing at the Hayloft Bar In Mount Clemens

March 16, 2011,

A Hazel Park man was charged with assault in connection with a stabbing last month at a Mount Clemens night spot according to an article titled, Lapeer County man hospitalized after stabbing at Mount Clemens nightclub, in the Macomb Daily on March 14, 2011.

The suspect was arraigned in 41-B District Court, located in Clinton Township, with a felony charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder. The maximum penalty for this offense is 10 years in prison. The court set bond at $30,000.00.

The defendant is accused of stabbing a man outside the Hayloft Bar on Feb. 20, 2011. The victim, a 27-year-old man, was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Under Michigan Law, the offense known as "assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder" requires the prosecutor to prove that the defendant specifically intended to cause great bodily harm. Great bodily harm has been defined as "serious injury" of an aggravating nature. The seriousness of an injury along with the manner in which it was done may be introduced as evidence of the defendant's intent.

However, an actual injury is not required to be charged with this offense as long as the defendant had the ability, or believed he had the ability, to commit the offense. For example, aiming a loaded gun at someone could be introduced in evidence to show the ability to shoot someone. At this point, a person could be charged with an offense of "assault with a dangerous weapon". To elevate this to the offense of "assault with intent to do great bodily harm", more evidence would be required.

A common defense to an assault charge is self-defense. If a person acts in self-defense, his or her actions are excused and he or she is not guilty of any crime. When this defense is introduced, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense.

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