Underwood is looking at two counts of open murder in connection with the shooting deaths of two 19-year-olds, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The shooting took place at a home on the 7800 block of Airola Peak Street, near West Grand Teton Drive and North Hualapai Way. Underwood is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center.
Under Nevada law, someone can be charged with murder if they are alleged to have taken the life of another human being with malice.
There are varying “degrees” of murder in Nevada.
Someone can be charged with first-degree murder if they are alleged to have committed a premeditated killing. First-degree murder also comprises “felony murder.” This is when someone kills another while committing any of the following serious felonies:
A person can be found guilty for felony murder even when they never intended to kill anyone while committing one of the listed felonies.
Here is an example – Tom Smith intended to rob a neighbor. He shows up at the neighbor’s house, breaks in, and instructs the homeowners to empty a safe and provide him with all of their valuables while he holds them up at gunpoint. Tom then accidentally squeezes the trigger and kills one of the neighbors. Even though Tom had no intention to kill anyone, Tom will likely be charged with first degree murder because the neighbor’s death occurred while Tom was committing robbery.
In addition to first-degree murder and felony murder, there is second-degree murder. Someone can be charged with second-degree murder if they are alleged to have unintentionally killed another person while acting recklessly and wantonly. The maximum penalty, if convicted for second-degree murder, is life in prison. Examples of second-degree murder include:
Depending on the facts of your case, it may be possible to negotiate murder charges down to manslaughter charges. You may be asking yourself, “what is manslaughter?” Well, just like murder, manslaughter is a type of homicide. Unlike murder, manslaughter is the killing of another person without malice and premeditation.
There are two different kinds of manslaughter under Nevada law:
It may be possible to get murder charges dismissed or, as mentioned, your attorney could try to plea bargain down the charges to manslaughter. Otherwise, murder is a category A felony carrying a possible life sentence in Nevada State Prison. In cases involving first-degree murder, a Nevada court has the discretionary authority to impose the death penalty when the aggravating circumstances outweigh all the mitigating circumstances.
A conviction for murder may be avoided where your Las Vegas criminal defense attorney can show that either:
If you or a loved one has been charged with homicide, now is the time for action. Murder charges are some of the most serious under Nevada law and a conviction could result in you serving the rest of your days in prison or being sentenced to death.
This is why you should have the very defense possible. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free case review.