Virginia does not allow felony murder when a co-perpetrator is killed

VIRGINIA — Clarified in a court case Wooden v. Commonwealth

§ 18.2-32. First and second degree murder defined; punishment.

Murder, other than capital murder, by poison, lying in wait, imprisonment, starving, or by any willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing, or in the commission of, or attempt to commit, arson, rape, forcible sodomy, inanimate or animate object sexual penetration, robbery, burglary or abduction, except as provided in § 18.2-31, is murder of the first degree, punishable as a Class 2 felony.

All murder other than capital murder and murder in the first degree is murder of the second degree and is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than forty years.

Court Case — Wooden v. Commonwealth

“For the foregoing reasons, we hold that under § 18.2-32, a criminal participant in a felony may not be convicted of the felony-murder of a co-felon killed by the victim of the initial felony. Accordingly, we will reverse the judgment of the trial court convicting Wooden of the felony-murder of her co-felon, Anthony, and dismiss the indictment.”

Link to the Law — HERE

Link to the Court Case — HERE

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