A Broward County man with an extensive criminal record, including time spent in prison for serious felony offenses, has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
The accused is charged with deliberately running over a woman outside of a Tamarac grocery store. Using a Dodge pickup, witnesses say that the accused struck the woman, ran over her with the truck, and then did it again when he put the truck in reverse. The woman was dragged underneath the truck and died from her injuries.
Prior to the incident, witnesses tell police that the accused and the victim were arguing.
Police have charged the accused with first-degree murder because, based on surveillance video footage of the incident as well as the statements of eyewitnesses, the incident appeared to be intentional and committed with premeditation. A first-degree murder charge requires that the accused contemplate the act before carrying it out. A second-degree murder charge only requires that the accused commit an act that results in the death of the victim with reckless disregard.
In the State of Florida, first-degree murder is punishable by death by lethal injection. If the state does not declare its intent to seek the death penalty, the mandatory sentence for a first-degree murder conviction is life in prison.
There is no parole in Florida. Life means life.
While awaiting trial for first-degree murder, you are not entitled to a bond.
Eric Matheny is a Broward criminal defense attorney and Miami criminal defense attorney.