Man Arrested on Charges of Arson and Felony Murder

It was around midnight this Monday that police officers from the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office went to a mobile home park, where a mentally ill person was walking with a hammer in hand, asking for a ride to a mental health facility. When deputies arrived though, they found that a trailer was going up in flames. Firefighters put the blaze out, but inside the trailer they found a body. Deputies then arrested the mentally ill person, originally charging him with arson first degree dwelling. Bail was set at $50,000. The charge of felony murder was later added.

How this case will proceed, and whether the suspect will be fit for trial remains to be seen. But what is certain is that these are very serious charges. While a charge of felony murder is not technically the same as being charged with premeditated murder, this charge could lead to a sentence of life in prison, or even to a death sentence. This is what happened in a recent trial, where a girl was convicted of a planning a robbery, but because someone ended up being killed in the robbery, she was sentenced to life without parole. It does not matter whether or not the violence was premeditated; all it takes is proving the first felony offense (such as arson, robbery, kidnapping, etc.). In a charge of felony murder, if you can prove the original felony, you can sentence for murder.

Facing criminal charges of any kind is serious enough. If you have been charged with a violent crime, then you could be looking at especially serious penalties. If you are charged with a felony, during which someone died, then you might very well be looking at felony murder charges. In order to fight against these charges, you need rigorous and tireless defense. At Thomas & Paulk, P.A., you can find the experienced Tampa criminal defense lawyers that you deserve to have on your side. We are committed to pursuing justice for all our clients, to fully defend their rights and fight for their future. Contact our firm today!