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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Violent Crimes / 21 Year Old Man Shot On Sidewalk

21 Year Old Man Shot On Sidewalk


On the morning after Christmas, a young man named Jamari Jenkins was found shot to death on a sidewalk in West Palm Beach, south of Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard. The shooting is being worked as the 16th homicide of the year in West Palm Beach, and while police have no leads as of this writing, this does not mean that a suspect will not be discovered. It is unfortunately all too easy to kill someone with a firearm, and if you are in this situation, you need an experienced criminal lawyer on your case as quickly as possible.

Homicide & Felony Murder

Florida law recognizes several different types of homicide, though the two that are the most common are murder and manslaughter. Murder is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being. The degrees of murder hinge on the intent of the person charged – if you, for example, deliberately target a person with the intent to kill them, the charge will be first-degree, but if you kill someone recklessly, or with intent only to injure, you would likely be charged with second-degree murder, not first. Manslaughter is a lesser version of this charge, usually when death occurs without intent (for example, an enraged husband killing his wife’s lover).

In addition to the more common manslaughter and murder, Florida law also recognizes what is referred to as felony murder. Felony murder is when a person is “unlawfully killed” during the commission of a felony, some of which are listed in the relevant statute – for example, arson, robbery, certain sexual offenses, burglary, and violently resisting arrest. The degree that one will be charged with tends to depend on intent – for example, if someone dies during a felony due to the perpetrator’s recklessness (as opposed to malice), they will be charged with a lesser felony – but it will still add a felony charge on top of the original murder charge.

Defenses Exist

While no information currently is available on the nature of Mr. Jenkins’ homicide, it is important for defendants charged with murder to know that the law does recognize defenses to the charge if they are appropriate. For example, Florida law recognizes the concept of justifiable homicide, which may be appropriate to raise if you struck the victim in self-defense. Other forms of ‘excusable homicide’ include killings committed while legally insane, or conditions such as battered wife syndrome, which would not apply in Mr. Jenkins’ case.

If a homicide cannot be argued as justifiable, it still may be possible to argue that there were irregularities in the chain of custody regarding evidence, or problems with police procedure. Alternatively, an experienced attorney may be able to try and plead the charge down to a lesser offense, though the odds are that a significant jail term will still be ahead of anyone who takes a plea deal.

Contact A West Palm Beach Homicide Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with homicide, you need an experienced attorney quickly, so you can be certain that your rights are being protected in court. The West Palm Beach violent crimes attorneys at the firm of Perlet, Shiner, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A. are ready and willing to put their experience and knowledge to work for you. Contact the office today to speak to an attorney.



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