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STATE v. HENDRICKS — NEW JERSEY MURDER TRIAL — "NOT GUILTY" VERDICT

Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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Learn More About Attempted Murder Charges in New Jersey

Far and away the most severe crime a person could commit is murder. The act of taking someone’s life is punishable by some of the worst penalties legally possible. Murder is so serious, that even attempter murder holds high penalties and even jail time.

Attempted murder is defined as a canceled or failed attempt to murder another person. In order for someone to be charged with attempted murder, the prosecution must show that the accused intentionally tried to kill another person. In order to establish that the accused intended to kill someone, the prosecution will look at various factors. Among these, the prosecution will look for a “direct step” that suggests murder was to be carried out. A direct step could be stalking a victim, breaking into a victim’s home or property, waiting to ambush a victim, or collecting objects needed to carry out the murder.

The prosecution will then have to establish intent to act or intent to kill. For intent to act, the prosecution must show that while no action was carried out, preparation for the deed had started. For example, buying weapons related to the intended crime and researching how to kill a person. On the other hand, intent to kill means action had taken place but not enough to kill. For example, beating a person until they’re disfigured does not necessarily establish that the accused attempted to kill the person.

Attempted murder charges are very serious. Therefore, penalties for attempted murder are also very serious. They are measured in degrees, much like actual murder charges. First degree occurs when a person tries to kill someone intentionally and with planning. Second degree attempted murder occurs when a person tried to kill a person but without planning. Attempted murder can carry penalties that fall anywhere from five to 15 years in prison for second degree charges and up to life in prison for first degree charges.

Attempted murder charges can ruin a person’s life. If you are facing attempted murder charges, you need an aggressive lawyer who could help. Contact the law office of John W. Tumelty to schedule your case consultation. Call 609-390-4600 or contact online today.

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