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Louisiana First Degree Murder Law

LSA-R.S. 14:30

A. First degree murder is the killing of a human being:

(1) When the offender has specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm and is engaged in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of aggravated kidnapping, second degree kidnapping, aggravated escape, aggravated arson, aggravated rape, forcible rape, aggravated burglary, armed robbery, assault by drive-by shooting, first degree robbery, second degree robbery, simple robbery, terrorism, cruelty to juveniles, or second degree cruelty to juveniles.

(2) When the offender has a specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm upon a fireman, peace officer, or civilian employee of the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory or any other forensic laboratory engaged in the performance of his lawful duties, or when the specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm is directly related to the victim’s status as a fireman, peace officer, or civilian employee.

(3) When the offender has a specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm upon more than one person.

(4) When the offender has specific intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm and has offered, has been offered, has given, or has received anything of value for the killing.

(5) When the offender has the specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm upon a victim who is under the age of twelve or sixty-five years of age or older.

(6) When the offender has the specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm while engaged in the distribution, exchange, sale, or purchase, or any attempt thereof, of a controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedules I, II, III, IV, or V of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law.

(7) When the offender has specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm and is engaged in the activities prohibited by R.S. 14:107.1(C)(1).

(8) When the offender has specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm and there has been issued by a judge or magistrate any lawful order prohibiting contact between the offender and the victim in response to threats of physical violence or harm which was served on the offender and is in effect at the time of the homicide.

(9) When the offender has specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm upon a victim who was a witness to a crime or was a member of the immediate family of a witness to a crime committed on a prior occasion and:

(a) The killing was committed for the purpose of preventing or influencing the victim’s testimony in any criminal action or proceeding whether or not such action or proceeding had been commenced; or

(b) The killing was committed for the purpose of exacting retribution for the victim’s prior testimony.

(10) When the offender has a specific intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm and the offender has previously acted with a specific intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm that resulted in the killing of one or more persons.

B. (1) For the purposes of Paragraph (A)(2) of this Section, the term “peace officer” means any peace officer, as defined in R.S. 40:2402, and includes any constable, marshal, deputy marshal, sheriff, deputy sheriff, local or state policeman, commissioned wildlife enforcement agent, federal law enforcement officer, jail or prison guard, parole officer, probation officer, judge, attorney general, assistant attorney general, attorney general’s investigator, district attorney, assistant district attorney, or district attorney’s investigator.

(2) For the purposes of Paragraph (A)(9) of this Section, the term “member of the immediate family” means a husband, wife, father, mother, daughter, son, brother, sister, stepparent, grandparent, stepchild, or grandchild.

(3) For the purposes of Paragraph (A)(9) of this Section, the term “witness” means any person who has testified or is expected to testify for the prosecution, or who, by reason of having relevant information, is subject to call or likely to be called as a witness for the prosecution, whether or not any action or proceeding has yet commenced.

C. Penalty provisions.

(1) If the district attorney seeks a capital verdict, the offender shall be punished by death or life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence, in accordance with the determination of the jury. The provisions of C.Cr.P. Art 782 relative to cases in which punishment may be capital shall apply.

(2) If the district attorney does not seek a capital verdict, the offender shall be punished by life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. The provisions of C. Cr.P. Art 782 relative to cases in which punishment is necessarily confinement at hard labor shall apply.

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The above statute is provided as a free service of the Baton Rouge personal injury attorney and criminal defense attorneys at Babcock Partners, LLC. Our Baton Rouge accident attorney and Louisiana criminal defense lawyers provide extremely aggressive representation for individuals in local, state, and federal courts throughout all of Louisiana.

If you, a family member, or friend or loved one has been charged with this crime, or were injured in an automobile accident, please call us locally at (225) 344-0911 or toll-free at 1-800-939-0911 for a free criminal or personal injury consultation.  Or if you prefer, you can send us an e-mail by filling out the Free Consultation contact form here. The personal injury and criminal attorneys at Babcock Partners, LLC are standing by to assist you with your legal matter. Call now for a free consultation.

Updated: February 17, 2014