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The Texting Suicide Case And Arizona Criminal Law

Posted by Raymond Kimble | Jun 25, 2017 | 0 Comments

Recently, a young girl was convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter in Massachusetts even though she was miles from where the actual death occurred.  As most of you have heard and as reported by many news accounts, this young woman was found guilty after it was discovered that she was texting her boyfriend and encouraging him to kill himself.  Unfortunately, the boyfriend died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his automobile. His girlfriend, the defendant, did not appear to have committed any physical act beyond texting him and encouraging him to end his life.

Manslaughter in Arizona

Unlike Massachusetts and several other states, Arizona does not distinguish between "Involuntary" and "Voluntary" Manslaughter.  Under Arizona law, Manslaughter is defined in A.R.S 13-1103 as:

1. Recklessly causing the death of another person; or

2. Committing second degree murder as prescribed in section 13-1104, subsection A upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion resulting from adequate provocation by the victim; or

3. Intentionally providing the physical means that another person uses to commit suicide, with the knowledge that the person intends to commit suicide; or

4. Committing second degree murder as prescribed in section 13-1104, subsection A, paragraph 3, while being coerced to do so by the use or threatened immediate use of unlawful deadly physical force upon such person or a third person which a reasonable person in his situation would have been unable to resist; or

5. Knowingly or recklessly causing the death of an unborn child by any physical injury to the mother.

Additionally, to be charged with, prosecuted and convicted for a criminal offense, police and prosecutors must show that your actions were "voluntary."   Specifically, The minimum requirement for criminal liability is the performance by a person of conduct which includes a voluntary act or the omission to perform a duty imposed by law which the person is physically capable of performing. A "voluntary act" means a bodily movement performed consciously and as a result of effort and determination.

Prosecution for Manslaughter in Arizona:

Under current Arizona Law, and as related to the "Texting Case," prosecution for Manslaughter where another person commits suicide is limited to situations where a persons provides the means or tools which another uses to commit suicide and the arrested person knows of the intended consequences or a defendant acts in a reckless manner and causes the death of another.  Consequently, and unlike what occurred in Massachusetts, it is unlikely a prosecution for manslaughter would occur in Arizona where there is nothing more than verbal encouragement to commit suicide. 

 If you have been charged with a murder, manslaughter any other crime or DUI in Arizona, contact my office at (480) 833-8613  for a free and immediate consultation.  I have represented thousands of individuals during the last twenty years who have been charged with offenses ranging from DUI and drug offenses to aggravated assault and homicide.  I have also conducted a number of jury trials in the city, justice and superior courts throughout Maricopa County and Final County and am available 24 hours a day by phone.

About the Author

Raymond Kimble

About Raymond Kimble Attorney Raymond Kimble has built his law practice on the philosophy that each client deserves consistent individual attention. Ray realizes that being charged with a DUI or criminal offense is one of the most stressful events in a person's life. A DUI, felony or misdemeanor arrest can involve prison or jail time, probation, huge fines and a criminal record. Consequently, people who face DUI, felony or misdemeanor charges in Arizona are placed at risk of losing employment or being barred from future job opportunities. Ray works to lessen his client's anxiety by ensuring that they have direct access to him at all times and can reach him by e-mail, cell phone or text during normal business hours as well as nights or weekends if they have a pressing question or concern. Raymond Kimble is a dedicated DUI and criminal defense lawyer who has built a reputation of working tirelessly to protect his client's constitutional rights, their future and liberty. Ray strives to provide the strongest defense possible for each client despite the obstacles they may face. Put Experience to Work for You Raymond Kimble's twenty years of experience with respect to DUI, misdemeanor and felony criminal charges extends well beyond law school where he graduated within the top ten percent of his class. Ray was a police officer for ten years prior to becoming an attorney. As a police officer, Ray was trained in both DUI and criminal investigation and his personal involvement in criminal cases while a police officer certainly gives him a unique perspective when reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses and challenging physical evidence. Ray often identifies legal issues or mistakes made by police during an investigation through his own personal experience as a patrol officer. In addition to his police experience, Raymond Kimble worked as a prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office where he was responsible for prosecuting DUI, felony and misdemeanor crimes. During his tenure as a prosecutor, Ray conducted a number of jury trials and hearings related to the admissibility of evidence. Through his involvement with these cases as a prosecutor, Ray learned how to properly evaluate the strength and weaknesses of a DUI, misdemeanor or felony charge and became skilled in jury selection, argument, and the direct and cross examination of both civilian witnesses, experts and police officers. Of course, Raymond Kimble's expertise extends beyond his experience as a police officer and prosecutor. Specifically, Ray has successfully represented thousands of people during the last fifteen years throughout Maricopa County, Arizona. To best serve his Clients, Raymond remains current on changes in the law as well as police tactics by regularly attending seminars focused on defending criminal charges and reading the latest articles and books related to DUI and criminal defense. Ray also regularly writes criminal defense blogs and posts so that people faced with a criminal charge are better informed about their rights.

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About Raymond Kimble

Raymond A. Kimble is a former police officer and felony prosecutor who has twenty years experience defending people accused of DUI and other criminal offenses throughout Arizona. Mr. Kimble represents clients seeking experienced and aggressive representation to help them fight the charges they face. For more information, contact The Law Office of Raymond A. Kimble today.