Murder

The taking of a life is something that is held in the highest regard in society both legally and socially. Even being accused of murder can cause irreparable damage to one’s reputation and livelihood. At the Law office of Amanda Gentry, we understand that this can be a scary time and we are prepared to help. With a clear understanding of what is really being said and straightforward honesty we provide an experienced set of eyes capable of bringing even the worst crimes and making them manageable.

What is Murder?

Legally there are five different types of murder and they involve the UNLAWFUL killing of another person, which means an accident is not murder. The five types of murder are first degree murder, second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and vehicular homicide.

What is First Degree Murder?

Elements of First Degree Murder according to § 39-13-202 are:

  1. The premeditated and intentional killing of someone or
  2. Killing someone while committing a crime including:
    1. First Degree Murder
    2. Terrorism
    3. Arson
    4. Rape
    5. Robbery
    6. Burglary
    7. Theft
    8. Kidnapping
    9. Physical Abuse
    10. Aggravated Abuse of an elder or vulnerable adult
    11. Aggravated Child Abuse/Neglect
    12. Rape of a child or Aggravated Rape of a child
    13. Aircraft Piracy or
  3. Murder by explosive
What is the Penalty of First Degree Murder?
  1. The results of a guilty verdict of first degree murder is determined at a subsequent sentencing hearing where the options are life without parole, life, or death.

  2. The jury must unanimously or all agree on the verdict of death in accordance with statute otherwise it is some type of life imprisonment.

  3. Specific to Tennessee is a law concerning individuals that end up in imprisonment for life that states that those individuals will not be eligible for parole until they have served 51 years. This places Tennessee as one of the strictest in the nation when it comes to punishing those found guilty of first degree murder.

What is Second Degree Murder?

Elements of Second Degree Murder according to § 39-13-210 are:

  1. It is knowingly killing someone or doing something that you know will kill someone such as lighting someone on fire or
  2. Distributing Schedule I or II drugs that are the direct cause of someone dying.
What is the Penalty of Second Degree Murder?
  1. It is a Class A felony meaning:
    1. Sentencing range between 15-60 years
    2. Maximum fine up to $50,000
What is Voluntary Manslaughter?
  1. According to § 39-13-211 it is intentionally or knowingly killing someone in the “heat of the moment” when someone acts in a that would cause a reasonable person to act unreasonable.
  2. It is a Class C felony:
    1. Range 3-15 years
    2. Max $10,000
What is Vehicular Homicide?

There are four types and their elements according to § 39-13-213 are:

  1. The reckless killing of somebody while operating a vehicle by:
    1. Acting in a manner that puts life and limb on the line or
    2. Driving while intoxicated or
    3. Drag racing or
    4. Killing a construction worker in a construction zone
What Penalty is Associated with Vehicular Homicide?
  1. Killing someone by driving recklessly in a manner that endangered the people around them is a Class C felony.
  2. Recklessly killing someone while one is drag racing is a Class C felony.
  3. The Reckless Killing someone while intoxicated is a Class B felony.
    1. Range 8-30
    2. Max $25,000
    3. The first violation of this law also involved a mandatory minimum of 48 hours behind bars.
    4. The second attaches 45 days.
    5. The third 120 days.
    6. The fourth 150 days.
  4. Reckless driving that kills a construction worker is a Class D felony.
    1. Range 2-12 years
    2. Max $5,000
  5. Anyone found guilty of intoxicated murder with have their license revoked between 3-10 years.