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Tennessee man accused of first-degree murder

Murder is the most serious offense a person can be accused of. If convicted of murder, a defendant could face life in prison or, here in Tennessee, even the death penalty.

One Tennessee man has recently been accused of first-degree murder for the alleged shooting of man who was attempting to buy drugs. Authorities claim that the defendant and his girlfriend were meeting the victim and his friend to conduct the transaction. According to police, as the victim's friend approached the defendant's girlfriend, the defendant accosted him and tried to rob him. The friend says he dropped his wallet and ran back to the car.

As he and the victim fled in the car, someone supposedly began shooting at the car; the victim, in the passenger seat, was killed. The defendant was arrested in connection with the incident based on a tip someone made to Crime Stoppers. He has been charged with first-degree murder.

Murder charges in Tennessee cannot be taken lightly, no matter the degree. There are a range of murder charges depending on what prosecutors allege the defendant's intentions were. First-degree murder may be charged when prosecutors claim that a killing was intentional and premeditated, while second-degree murder is more likely when the defendant merely knows that certain actions will likely kill the victim. Voluntary manslaughter is often charged when an otherwise reasonable defendant, while in a "state of passion," allegedly commits a murder. Reckless and negligent homicide charges involve situations where a person dies because of reckless or negligent behavior, in which the defendant supposedly knew there was a risk of death.

If convicted of murder in Tennessee, a defendant may be sentenced to a long prison term, including life without parole, or even the death penalty. A legal professional, however, can use many tools to help a defendant, including scientific evidence, experts in murder scenes and weapons and other options to help a defendant protect his or her rights.

Source: News Channel 5, "Tip Leads To Arrest Of Nashville Murder Suspect In Memphis," June 19, 2013

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