PANAMA CITY, FL (November 5, 2019) writes that police arrested two individuals in connection to a homicide that occurred last weekend. The body of a 33-year-old man was found in Panama City outside of the victim’s home on North East Avenue. The Bay County Sheriff’s Office worked with the Geneva County Sheriff’s Office and located the two suspects in Dothan, Alabama.

Police believe that the two individuals they arrested are the main people involved in the homicide. One of the suspects, a 35-year-old man, is facing charges for providing false information to the police in the course of a felony investigation. The other suspect, a 40-year-old man, was charged as an accessory after the fact.

The investigation is still underway, and police say they are working nonstop to put together the facts of the case. Information about the case is still being gathered, but after speaking to numerous witnesses and reviewing evidence collected, the officers determined that the suspects arrested were the people with the victim when he died. Officers anticipate homicide charges will soon be filed in connection to the death.

Homicide Charges in Florida

Homicide is a crime that occurs when one person kills another human being. Homicide does not necessarily mean murder. In some cases, homicide is not a criminal act, but murder is a word used to reference a crime.

Illegal killings are categorized as murder, manslaughter, or vehicular homicide. The crime of murder is broken down into three sub-categories, first, second, and third-degree. Manslaughter is broken down into voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.

The different charges are based on the presence of malice and the defendant’s state of mind. First-degree murder includes only homicides that are premeditated or planned in advance or those that are committed in the course of another felony. An example of a felony murder would be when a person kills someone while committing armed robbery. Even if the murder was not planned, this crime could be charged as first-degree murder.

Second-degree murder involves killing with a depraved mind, but no premeditation. This means the perpetrator showed no regard for human life. Third-degree murder includes crimes of passion, where the killing might have taken place in the course of a heated argument.

Manslaughter occurs when a person commits a homicide without the intent to kill. The person only needs to have committed an intentionally negligent act, which would lead to voluntary manslaughter charges, or a recklessly negligent act, which would then mean charges of involuntary manslaughter.

Penalties for homicide vary depending on the category of the crime, but all can carry lengthy prison sentences. In the case of first-degree murder, the death penalty may be applied in some instances.

There are many defenses to homicide charges, including self-defense, or that the killing was lawful under Florida’s stand your ground law. In some instances, the best way to defend may be to argue that the charges should be downgraded.

Anyone facing homicide charges should speak to an experienced attorney to determine their best defense strategy.