A jury in St. Mary's County, Maryland, has found a man with no fixed address guilty of first-degree murder in the death of a St. Inigoes man who was shot in his own home. Other charges in which the defendant was found guilty in the same homicide included second-degree murder, armed robbery and first-degree burglary. The man was acquitted of premeditated first-degree murder. The guilty charges carry a maximum sentence under Maryland law of life in jail without parole.
The judge in the case advised the jury that first-degree murder charges stemmed from the fact that a murder had been committed while burglary, another felony, was being committed. Prosecutors will conduct a pre-sentence investigation before sentencing occurs. The man convicted of the murder was one of two individuals who broke into the victim's trailer in search of money and drugs. Prosecutors rejected the defense theory that a murder-for-hire plot was part of the scenario.
As with many violent crimes, the case was a complicated one because the victim was an alleged drug dealer. In addition the victim and the defendant had reportedly argued earlier in the day. The circumstances surrounding these murder charges and the prison sentence involved may be enough for someone to hire a competent criminal defense attorney familiar with the intricacies of Maryland laws.
Experienced Maryland attorneys may be able to successfully defend individuals accused of violent crimes, resulting in acquittals. In cases where defendants are found guilty, defense attorneys' work may result in conviction on lesser charges. Defense attorney work continues past the trial into the sentencing phase. Here, experienced attorneys may be able to help mitigate sentences by presenting a number of different factors that could possibly result in leniency on the part of the courts.
Source: Baynet, "Jury verdict: Guilty of Felony First-Degree Murder", Dick Myers, July 25, 2013