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The Colorado Crime Of Murder In The First Degree 18-3-102

The Colorado Crime Of Murder In The First Degree 18-3-102To understand the Colorado Criminal Code and more specifically the charge or charges in the Complaint and Information or Grand Jury Indictment against you – you need TWO things.

I. You Will Need To Understand The Actual Statutory Crime With Which You Have Been Charged

– The statute, as of 2016, appears first on this page.

II. You Will Also Need To Understand How The Jury Or Judge Reads The Elements – ( a jury instruction “breakout” of the necessary parts or list of things that make up the crime)

– The Jury Instructions for most of the main forms of the crimes with which individuals are charged – appears after a reprint of the statute defining the crime.

The Colorado Statutory Crime of Murder in The First Degree 18-3-102

 § 18-3-102. Murder in the first degree

(1) A person commits the crime of murder in the first degree if:

(a) After deliberation and with the intent to cause the death of a person other than himself, he causes the death of that person or of another person; or
(b) Acting either alone or with one or more persons, he or she commits or attempts to commit arson, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, sexual assault as prohibited by section 18-3-402, sexual assault in the first or second degree as prohibited by section 18-3-402 or 18-3-403 as those sections existed prior to July 1, 2000, or a class 3 felony for sexual assault on a child as provided in section 18-3-405(2), or the crime of escape as provided in section 18-8-208, and, in the course of or in furtherance of the crime that he or she is committing or attempting to commit, or of immediate flight therefrom, the death of a person, other than one of the participants, is caused by anyone; or
(c) By perjury or subornation of perjury he procures the conviction and execution of any innocent person; or
(d) Under circumstances evidencing an attitude of universal malice manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life generally, he knowingly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to a person, or persons, other than himself, and thereby causes the death of another; or
(e) He or she commits unlawful distribution, dispensation, or sale of a controlled substance to a person under the age of eighteen years on school grounds as provided in section 18-18-407(2), and the death of such person is caused by the use of such controlled substance; or
(f) The person knowingly causes the death of a child who has not yet attained twelve years of age and the person committing the offense is one in a position of trust with respect to the victim.
(2) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of violating subsection (1) (b) of this section that the defendant:

(a) Was not the only participant in the underlying crime; and
(b) Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause, or aid the commission thereof; and
(c) Was not armed with a deadly weapon; and
(d) Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant was armed with such a weapon, instrument, article, or substance; and
(e) Did not engage himself in or intend to engage in and had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious bodily injury; and
(f) Endeavored to disengage himself from the commission of the underlying crime or flight therefrom immediately upon having reasonable grounds to believe that another participant is armed with a deadly weapon, instrument, article, or substance, or intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious bodily injury.
(3) Murder in the first degree is a class 1 felony.
(4) The statutory privilege between patient and physician and between husband and wife shall not be available for excluding or refusing testimony in any prosecution for the crime of murder in the first degree as described in paragraph (f) of subsection (1) of this section.

The Colorado Primary Jury Instructions for Murder in the First Degree /Felony Murder 18-3-102

MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE (AFTER DELIBERATION)

The elements of the crime of murder in the first degree (after deliberation) are:

1. That the defendant,

2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,

3. after deliberation, and

4. with the intent,

5. to cause the death of a person other than himself [herself],

6. caused the death of that person or of another person.

[7. and that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense[s] in Instruction[s] ___.]

MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE (FELONY MURDER)

The elements of the crime of murder in the first degree (felony murder) are:

1. That the defendant,

2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,

3. acting alone or with one or more persons,

4. committed or attempted to commit [insert name(s) of qualifying offense(s) enumerated in section 18-3-102(1)(b)], and

5. in the course of or in furtherance of the crime of [insert name(s) of qualifying offense(s) enumerated in § 18-3-102(1)(b)] that he [she] was committing or attempting to commit, or in the immediate flight therefrom,

6. the death of a person, other than one of the participants, was caused by anyone.

[7. and that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense[s] in Instruction[s] ___.]

 

Click on Felony Sentencing Chart To Enlarge:

Colorado Felony Offenses Chart

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The Colorado Crime Of Murder In The First Degree 18-3-102

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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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