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Charges of Negligent Homicide Issued Against Electricians in Houston

Usually when one hears about a homicide being committed, the first thought that comes to mind is what kind of depraved or evil person could do such a thing. The fact is that the term “homicide” refers to a wide array of killings, some of them intentional and others not.

The recent case in Houston of a man who went swimming in a hotel pool provides an illustration of the breadth of homicide offenses. A man was electrocuted when he went swimming at dusk as the lights inside the pool came on. Prosecutors who brought charges against the electricians claim that the repair work they had performed back on August 31, 2013 was done in “a substandard fashion”. Other swimmers also complained of being shocked when the pool lights would come on.

Types of homicide offenses

Homicides can vary greatly in terms of type and the corresponding scope of the penalty involved.  While each state has their own statutes, many states have the following list of homicide offenses listed from most blameworthy to less:

  • First degree murder involving malicious conduct
  • Second degree murder with some level of intent
  • Voluntary manslaughter – often known as a “crime of passion”; a common example is a man finding his wife or girlfriend in bed with another man whom he proceeds to kill
  • Reckless homicide such as firing a weapon aimlessly without considering others may be nearby
  • Negligent Homicide as is the case here where there was no intent to hurt anyone but where the failure to properly do routine maintenance can injure to the point of  killing someone

Each of the above categories of homicides differs in terms of the mental state of the person or people who cause the eventual death of the victim. It cannot be overemphasized that each state has its own set of laws which govern homicides and the above listing is merely a general guide.

Vehicular homicide

Another common form of homicide involves vehicular homicide. This brand of homicide differs from the others in that it is not necessarily determined by the mental state of the killer – although that may be an issue – but rather the mechanism used to cause the death of others. In many jurisdictions, the mental state of the perpetrator may be consistent with reckless or negligent homicide but there may still be a specific offense for vehicular homicide. The prosecutors in such a state may be relieved of the duty of proving the intention or motive of the driver and focus rather on the fact that the driver happened to cause his vehicle to hit another person.

To schedule a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands Arizona homicide laws, contact Law Offices of Richard Bock.

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