West Virginia

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

WEST VIRGINIA — LAW CLARIFIED BY COURT RULING

§61-2-1. First and second degree murder defined; allegations in indictment for homicide.

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, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, burglary, breaking and entering, escape from lawful custody, or a felony offense of manufacturing or delivering a controlled substance as defined in article four, chapter sixty-a of this code, is murder of the first degree. All other murder is murder of the second degree.

In an indictment for murder and manslaughter, it shall not be necessary to set forth the manner in which, or the means by which, the death of the deceased was caused, but it shall be sufficient in every such indictment to charge that the defendant did feloniously, willfully, maliciously, deliberately and unlawfully slay, kill and murder the deceased.

COURT RULING — Davis v. Fox and Sands

“Accordingly, we hold that when a co-perpetrator is killed by the intended victim of a burglary during the commission of a crime, the surviving co-perpetrator cannot be charged with felony murder pursuant to West Virginia Code § 61-2-1 “

Link to the Law — HERE

Link to the Court Ruling — HERE

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