Intentional Murder, Wanton Murder, Manslaughter, and Reckless Homicide are all crimes involving the death of another. Without an experienced attorney that handles murder cases, it can be hard to tell the difference in these very different crimes. That’s why you need an Attorney who is familiar with all of the Murder, Manslaughter, and Homicide crimes and knows how to defend each one. Baldani Law Group is a team of Kentucky Murder Attorneys with decades of experience. We are ready to help you or your loved one fight one of these difficult charges.
Do not wait to get an attorney if you are facing a murder or other homicide charge. Early involvement of a lawyer is crucial. We have won murder cases at trial and had them dismissed prior to trial. Let us be your strong defense.
Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 507.020 — Murder
Under KRS 507.020, a person is guilty of murder when either:
- With intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the death of such person or of a third person; except that in any prosecution a person shall not be guilty under this subsection if he acted under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse, the reasonableness of which is to be determined from the viewpoint of a person in the defendant’s situation under the circumstances as the defendant believed them to be. However, nothing contained in this section shall constitute a defense to a prosecution for or preclude a conviction of manslaughter in the first degree or any other crime; or
- Including, but not limited to, the operation of a motor vehicle under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person and thereby causes the death of another person.
Penalty for Murder in Kentucky
In Kentucky, the penalty for murder can range from twenty years up to the death penalty. This is true of both intentional and wanton murder. In order for a murder to be eligible for the death penalty or life without parole, there must be an “aggravating circumstance”, meaning an additional crime or circumstance that raises the level of the offense to a capital crime.
Defenses for Murder in Kentucky
Defense of Others
Defending others may be a justification for murder in Kentucky. The defendant must prove that they were acting reasonably and rationally in fear of death of serious physical injury of the person they are protecting.
Defending yourself may be a justification for murder in Kentucky. The defendant must prove that they were acting reasonably and rationally in fear of death of serious physical injury of their person.
Defense of Property/Dwelling
In some circumstances, the defendant can invoke the “Castle Doctrine” and be protected from prosecution for homicide.
Murder requires either intentionality or wanton conduct. If a death is truly an accident, a murder prosecution cannot stand.
What are Not Defenses to Murder?
Threat of Mere Physical Injury
A person threatening to punch you does not warrant serious physical force in Kentucky. You must protect yourself proportionally to the threat against yourself or the other person.
I didn’t Intend to Kill The Person
While this may be a defense in that it lessens the charge to Manslaughter in the First Degree, it is not a complete defense to murder.
I Was on Drugs When it Happened
While involuntary intoxication can be a defense to wanton crimes, voluntary intoxication is not. In some limited circumstances, intoxication could serve as a defense, but it is not generally an available option.
Contact Lexington Murder Lawyers
Don’t wait to schedule a free consultation with Baldani Law Group and our team of Kentucky Murder Attorneys. Our phones ring 24/7 and on nights, weekends and holidays. We care about our clients and want to win your case. Let us make your problem, our problem.