Random shootings often have tragic consequences. The shooter most likely has no knowledge of the individuals who may be unwitting targets of the shooting, and the victim may never have met the shooter. A typical example of such a crime occurred in Memphis when a man fired a pistol into an apartment building, killing an 8-year-old girl.
According to Memphis police, the suspect fired twenty-six shots into the Highland Chateau Apartment in Raleigh, where the victim was visiting her grandparents. One of the bullets struck and killed the girl. Police said at the time of the incident that the girl was not the suspect’s target.
The suspect fled Tennessee before police could apprehend him. He was recently arrested in New Orleans and is being held pending extradition to Tennessee. The suspect has been charged with first degree murder for the little girl’s death. Once extradition has occurred, the suspect will be tried in Tennessee.
The road ahead
The suspect is entitled to be presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, the suspect is facing the most serious of all criminal charges, first degree murder. If the defendant is convicted, he faces one of three potential sentences: life imprisonment, life in prison without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty.
Anyone facing similar charges may find the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney to be very helpful. A knowledgeable defense attorney can evaluate the evidence, suggest legal arguments that may provide an effective defense and provide an estimate of the likelihood of the defendant being convicted. In an appropriate case, a capable defense attorney can negotiate an effective plea agreement with the prosecutor.