While there are a number of charges that may result from causing the death of another individual, the two main charges stemming from intentionally or knowingly causing the death of another person are Murder and Aggravated Murder.
Murder charges result when an individual intentionally causes the death of another, or causes the death of another while committing an act clearly dangerous to human life, while knowingly engaging in conduct which creates a grave risk of death and displays depraved indifference to human life, while committing another statutorily-designated crime, or when the victim is a peace officer.
Murder is a first degree felony punishable by a term of 15 years to life in prison. Unless waived, a jury comprised of eight individuals finds a defendant guilty or not guilty. Upon conviction, a judge sentences a defendant (which sentence cannot include probation). The victim’s family also has a chance to speak at sentencing and address the court and explain how this crime has affected their family.
Aggravated Murder charges result when a person intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another under specifically listed statutory circumstances, including: during the commission of a rape or kidnapping, when two or more persons are killed in the same criminal episode, when the perpetrator is in jail or prison, or the victim is a peace officer or younger than the age of 14.
Aggravated Murder charges are less common than Murder charges and carry with them the possibility of the death penalty, life with parole or life without parole. Aggravated Murder is a first degree felony and the prosecution may file a Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty, at which point the possible sentences upon conviction by a twelve person jury include 20 years to life in prison, life in prison without parole, or possibly death. The death penalty isn’t a possibility in aggravated murder cases when the prosecution doesn’t file a Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty.
Friends and Family of Homicide Victims:
Adult Grief Support Grief 801-521-8656
Bereavement Support-St Marks Hospital 801-268-7422
Family Support Foundation 801-476-1127
Homicide Support Group http://www.hvsg.org.au/main/page_home.html
LDS Family Services 801-621-5638
UTAHs/Utah Treatment 801-299-1323
Your Community Connection (YCC) 801-394-9456
Weber Human Services 801-625-3700
Ogden Center for Counseling 801-479-8286
Catholic Community Services 801-394-5944