Maryland does not allow a felony murder charge when a co-perpetrator is killed by a victim or bystander

MARYLAND — Not allowing a felony murder charge when a co-perpetrator is killed is established in case law.

Maryland §2–201.

(a) A murder is in the first degree if it is:

(1) a deliberate, premeditated, and willful killing;

(2) committed by lying in wait;

(3) committed by poison; or

(4) committed in the perpetration of or an attempt to perpetrate:

(i) arson in the first degree;

(ii) burning a barn, stable, tobacco house, warehouse, or other outbuilding that:

1.  is not parcel to a dwelling;

2.  and contains cattle, goods, wares, merchandise, horses, grain, hay, or tobacco;

(iii) burglary in the first, second, or third degree;

(iv) carjacking or armed carjacking;

(v) escape in the first degree from a State correctional facility or a local correctional facility;

(vi) kidnapping under § 3­502 or § 3­503(a)(2) of this article;

(vii) mayhem;

(viii) rape;

(ix) robbery under § 3­402 or § 3­403 of this article;

(x) sexual offense in the first or second degree;

(xi) sodomy; or

(xii) a violation of § 4­503 of this article concerning destructive devices.

Case law that establishes this in Maryland

CASE LAW — Campbell v. State

Here, the factual statement presented to the trial court shows that in the course of an armed robbery, a fleeing co-felon was killed by either a police officer or a victim. Manifestly, the killing of the co-felon was committed to thwart the felony rather than to further it. Under Maryland’s felony-murder doctrine, the surviving felon is not guilty of murder. Under these circumstances, the factual statement serving as the basis for the plea of first degree felony-murder of a co-felon failed to demonstrate guilt of the crime to which the plea was entered. The plea was not properly accepted by the trial court. Accordingly, we shall reverse the conviction of first degree murder.5 We shall affirm the convictions for assault with intent to murder and robbery with a deadly weapon.

Link to the Maryland Statute — HERE

Link to the Maryland Case Law — HERE

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