A charge of first degree murder is always a felony in Maryland. The state applies the felony murder rule in cases like this. This means that the prosecution believes that a specific murder was committed or was attempted while committing or attempting to commit another crime. However, many Maryland residents may not understand what these crimes or felonies are. So here is a quick look at exactly what kinds of felonies may lead to a first degree murder charge in the state.
One of these crimes is first degree arson, which is willfully setting a fire with the intent to destroy property or kill another person. A variation of this crime that can also draw first degree murder charges is the burning of a warehouse, stable or barn that contains either goods or animals.
There are many additional crimes that can result in first degree murder charges in Maryland including carjacking, kidnapping, escaping from custody and burglary. Crimes of a sexual nature such as sodomy, rape or any other first or second degree sexual offense can also lead to these charges.
Manufacturing a destructive device in Maryland is another crime that can result in a first degree murder charge. State law prohibits the transportation, possession and manufacturing of these devices as well as possessing materials with the intention of creating them.
Being charged with murder, no matter what the degree, is an extremely serious matter. Any Maryland resident who is facing such charges may want to speak with a criminal defense attorney in order to fully understand the seriousness of the charges that he or she is facing.
Source: statelaws.findlaw.com, "Maryland first degree murder," Accessed Aug. 30, 2015