A man charged with felony battery after striking a fellow customer at a Miami Beach grocery store is facing second-degree murder charges after the alleged victim died from his injuries.
Last week, a Miami Beach man with a prior criminal record got into an argument with another man at a Miami Beach grocery store. The incident, captured on the store’s surveillance video, showed the accused striking the alleged victim in the head. The alleged victim, a 58 year-old man, fell to the floor. He suffered a skull fracture and was placed in a medically-induced coma.
Just this morning, the alleged victim passed away. The charges have been elevated from felony battery, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, to second-degree murder, which is punishable by life.
The accused was initially charged with felony battery because while the injury incurred by the victim was serious, the action was only a strike with the hand. No intent to cause great bodily harm could be gleaned from the manner of the attack. If the accused had acted in such a manner that showed an intent to cause great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement, or had used a weapon, the charge would have been aggravated battery.
Had the alleged victim not fallen or suffered a serious injury, the charge would have been a misdemeanor battery.
Since the alleged victim died as a direct result of the actions of the accused, he has been charged with second-degree murder. Second-degree murder is the unlawful killing of another perpetrated by someone without premeditation but who acts with wanton disregard for life.
Since second-degree murder is punishable by life, it is a non-bondable offense.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward.