My dad was a firefighter, died on line of duty, fell off bridge appox 50-75 feet down as tried to locate the fire. Found the railroad tieouts was burning. Result fire was set by arsonist and arrested.Now, he was charged three degree arson but upgrade to first degree arson. My question, can he charge for murder? Whet possible he face? Railroad tieout belongs to CSX federal property, What's maximum of punishment? It's in W Va. thank you
"Felony Murder" statutes provide for charging someone with murder if someone dies in the course of a felony. There would have to be a causal connection between the crime and the death. In this case, there may be an intervening cause which resulted in the death of your Dad. You should discuss this with the prosecutors in the case in WVa. I am sorry for your loss.
Only a West Va attorney can properly answer your question. It is possible that this may fall under felony murder, but you should talk to the state attorney or district attorney's office to find out what he actually faces.
First, I am very sorry about your loss. I am a West Virginia lawyer, and tell you that West Virginia does have a felony-murder rule, as encapsulated in our criminal statute, defining first degree murder. Please refer to Criminal Code, §61-2-1, which states as follows: Murder [ ] in the commission of [ ] arson, [& other enumerated crimes] is murder of the first degree. All other murder is murder of the second degree. As suggested by another comment above, speak with the prosecutor for the county within which the incidents occurred, or where the perpetrator is being charged, if different, to find out what charges will be brought and what penalties (jail time, etc.) will be sought.
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