July 2, 2020 | Indianapolis News
Crime rates might have dropped during the coronavirus pandemic, but Indianapolis marked a sad milestone on June 18, 2020, that it did not hit until September of last year. The city marked its 100th homicide of the year.
According to news reports, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department reported that a man was fatally shot around 1:30 a.m. on June 18 at the intersection of Keystone Avenue and 35th Street. Richard Jones was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 37 years old.
There were four other homicide investigations just the day before the city reached this new milestone. A man died on the west side, and a woman was found dead from an apparent gunshot near the CVS on the east side. Wednesday morning, two men police discovered two men in a crashed vehicle with apparent gunshot wounds.
What is Considered Homicide in Indiana?
The term homicide describes any unlawful death. There are several crimes in the Homicide Chapter of the Indiana Code that fit into the category of homicide.
Murder is the intentional killing of another person. You can also be charged with murder if a person dies while you are attempting to commit a crime or if you intentionally or knowingly kill a fetus that has reached viability.
In almost all cases, murder is a Level 1 felony charge.
Voluntary manslaughter charges apply when a person intentionally or knowingly kills another person or a viable fetus while acting under “sudden heat.” Sudden heat is the term used for a crime of passion. The person suddenly reacted to intense emotions or passion instead of planning the murder in advance.
Voluntary manslaughter charges usually fall into the Level 2 felony category.
The charge of involuntary manslaughter may apply in a variety of circumstances. For example, involuntary manslaughter charges may be filed for the death of another person or viable fetus during the attempt to commit a Level 5 or Level 6 felony.
Involuntary manslaughter is also used when a person causes a death because the person was driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The death may also be ruled as involuntary homicide if the person killed another person or viable fetus while committing a battery.
Most involuntary manslaughter charges are Level 5 felonies.
Indiana also has a statute that defines some fatalities as reckless homicides. Individuals may be charged with reckless homicide if they knew or should have known their actions were likely to cause harm to another person. Examples would be speeding through a neighborhood or engaging in unprotected sex when the person knew he or she was HIV/AIDS positive.
Most reckless homicide cases are Level 6 felonies.
A person can be charged with homicide even though the person did not commit the murder. If a person causes another person to take their life by using coercion, force, or deception, the offender can be charged with a Level 3 felony.
Penalties for Homicide In Indiana
The penalties for homicide depend on the level of the charge. However, homicide convictions can involve penalties include prison sentences, fines, probation, house arrest, and revocation of driving privileges.
However, the consequences of a homicide conviction can be far-reaching. You have a criminal record that follows you after your release from prison. Your criminal record may impact your constitutional rights to own a firearm or vote.
A criminal record may also prevent you from obtaining a professional license, seeking additional education, or living where you want to live. It is best to seek the advice of an experienced homicide defense attorney as soon as possible to try to avoid a homicide conviction.
Homicide Charges Can Result in the Death Penalty
Indiana still imposes the death penalty in some cases. A person charged with homicide may face the death penalty if the offender:
- has a previous conviction for a homicide charge;
- killed a child under the age of 12;
- was in police custody or on parole at the time of the murder;
- was convicted of committing sex crimes or kidnapping the victim;
- was committing another felony at the time of the murder;
- killed a fireman, judge, or law enforcement officer;
- killed a witness against the offender; or,
- killed a pregnant woman and her fetus.
Even though a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, that does not mean that you should handle the case yourself or use a public defender. Murder is a serious criminal charge that could result in the death sentence. You need legal counsel from an attorney with experience handling murder cases.
Until you have a chance to talk with an attorney, do not answer questions or provide a statement to the police. Explaining your side of the story to the police never worked out for anyone. If the police believe that they have a case against you, they will arrest you regardless of what you say.
It is best to exercise your right to remain silent and right to an attorney if you are facing murder charges.