Broward Shooting at Check-Cashing Store Turns Deadly

A store clerk died after being shot during a robbery at a check cashing store on Sunrise Boulevard recently, The Miami Herald reports.

Robbery that leads to murder in Fort Lauderdale is typically charged as first-degree murder, which can lead to a possible penalty of up to life in prison or the death penalty. That’s why a defendant facing these types of charges must hire an experienced Broward County Criminal Defense Attorney.
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According to the news report, Broward County Sheriff’s deputies received distress calls from inside the building saying there was a robbery. When a SWAT team arrived, shots were fired, police said. A clerk inside died from her injuries, while a suspect and a person found across the street, who may have been a bystander, were also injured.

A two-hour standoff situation insued. Officers thought they had a hostage situation and when paramedics attempted to treat a man on the ground outside the store, they noticed he was armed and waited for SWAT to extract him.

The other man, who hasn’t been identified as a bystander or suspect, was treated by paramedics. All were taken to Broward General Medical Center.

Eventually, SWAT team members broke through a window of the business and brought out the clerk. Traffic on the typically busy six-lane West Sunrise Boulevard was cut off during the standoff.

In Florida, a person can be charged with first-degree murder by police, but in order for the charge to go forward to trial, the State Attorney’s Office must seek a grand jury indictment, meaning a panel of people on the grand jury must agree that the charges rise to the level of first-degree murder. That’s because of the severity of the penalties against someone facing that charge.

First-degree murder charges in Florida mean a person can face life in prison or possibly death by lethal injection. It can be proven either by proving a premeditated plan of committing murder or if the defendant committed another felony –in this case, a possible armed robbery — while committing the murder.

Among the crimes that can lead to a first-degree murder charge: trafficking, arson, sexual battery, robbery, burglary, kidnapping, escape, aggravated child abuse, aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult, aircraft piracy, unlawful throwing, placing or discharging of a destructive device or bomb, carjacking, home-invasion robbery, aggravated stalking, murder of another, resisting an officer with violence and a felony that is an act of terrorism.

As you can see, there are many potential reasons to be charged with first-degree murder if a person dies. But this doesn’t just apply to someone who was the intended target of violence.

In fact, there have been many cases of a co-defendant dying during some sort of planned robbery and the surviving co-defendant is charged with murder — even if the police, for instance, shoot and kill the suspect. In other cases, a person may have a heart attack during a house break-in and those responsible for the break-in can be charged with murder.

That’s why hiring an experienced Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney should be the first step in defending a crime of this nature. Getting sound legal advice in a case like this is critical to ensuring a defendant’s rights are upheld from the very beginning.

If you are arrested on murder charges in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, contact Leifert & Leifert at 954-523-9600 or 561-988-8000 for a free consultation.

More Blog Entries:

Robbery Suspect Leads Police Through High-Speed Fort Lauderdale Chase: July 15, 2011
Additional Resources:

Clerk dies after robbery at Broward check-cashing store, by Linda Trischitta, The Miami Herald

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