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A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the second degree when it is committed while defendant was engaged in the perpetration

of a felony. For felony murder, the felony must have an independent felonious purpose and be inherently dangerous. Under Burton, the burglary has an independent felonious purpose, because the Axelrods had no specific intent to assault or kill anyone during the original burglary. Using Phillips, the burglary is not inherently dangerous because it is not a dangerous felony in its abstract nature. Using Stewart, the burglary was inherently dangerous as committed because a number of deaths were caused by the felony. Felony murder requires that the homicide be committed in furtherance of the felony (Canola). 1) Abe attempted to wrestle for Cartwrights gun. Cartwright fell, hit his head on the dresser and died. The Axelrods can be charged with felony-murder. The death was directly caused by the burglary because it would not have occurred but-for the burglary. The homicide was in furtherance of the felony: under agency theory because Abe caused Cartwrights death and proximate cause theory because it was a foreseeable risk of the burglary. The Axelrodss defense for Cartwrights death is based on the inherent dangerous felony threshold. Axelrods can argue no proximate cause because it was unforeseeable the death would occur by Cartwright falling on a dresser. Abe can be charged with reckless manslaughter. Abe knew there was a high probability that serious bodily harm causing death may result from wrestling with someone in a confined space. This cannot be depraved-heart murder, because the risk of death was not so extreme to amount to implied malice. Abe can also be charged with negligent homicide. Abe can argue for negligent homicide. Abe wanted to procure the weapon from Cartwright, and was not aware that there was an unreasonable risk of death from such conduct. A lack of knowledge of the risk constitutes negligent homicide. 2) Cartwrights gun went off, killing Arthur, as Abe wrestled for the gun.

The Axelrods can be charged for felony-murder. The gun would not have shot, but-for the burglary. The state can use proximate cause theory to prove that Arthurs death was within the foreseeable risk of and in furtherance of the felony. The identity of who caused the gunshot is irrelevant because a struggle to control a loaded shotgun involves a foreseeable risk that the gun would shoot, killing someone nearby. Axelrods can argue no proximate cause because it was unforeseeable that the gun would discharge and kill someone. Also, based on agency theory identity of the killer matters. If Abe caused the gunshot, then felony-murder is a proper charge. If Cartwright caused the gunshot, then felony-murder will not apply because the murder was not in furtherance of the felony. Since Arthurs killer cannot be identified, felony-murder cannot be charged. Abe can be charged with reckless manslaughter. Abe knew that rushing Cartwright to gain control of the shotgun constitutes an unreasonable risk of death to anyone in the vicinity. Abe knew there was a high probability that the gun would go off causing death as a result of such conduct. Abe can also be charged with negligent homicide. Abe can argue this killing amounted to only negligent homicide. Abe only wanted to procure the weapon from Cartwright, and in the process did not perceive that the risk that the gun would kill a third person. 3) Alexrods took Finkle hostage in their car. Pursuing officers shot at the car, killing Finkle. The Axelrods can be charged with felony-murder. But- for the burglary, Finkle would not have been kidnapped, and subsequently killed. Using proximate cause theory, the killing was within the foreseeable risk of and in furtherance of the felony. Finkle was taken hostage because he was preventing escape. Finkle was intentionally put in danger of his life because he was placed in the line of police gunfire during the escape, as a human shield. The Axelrods can argue using agency theory felony-murder is proper only if the homicide was perpetrated by a co-felon. It was the police officers shots that killed Finkle. Therefore, felony-murder cannot be charged because the homicide was not furthering the felony.

The Axelrods can individually be charged with depraved-heart murder. Kidnapping and placing Finkles life in danger as a human shield amounts to implied malice gross recklessness in disregard to human life. The state can also bring negligent homicide. The Axelrods can argue for negligent homicide because they did not possess knowledge of the risk that police would shoot at the car, potentially killing someone. They only should have known of such a risk. 4) A store clerk recognized the Axelrods car and called the police. Abe sped out of the parking lot, striking and killing Dennaby who he had not noticed. The state can argue the burglary was still being perpetrated when the police were notified of the Axelrodss location at the drug store and the Axelrods attempted to escape. Thus, under proximate cause theory the Axelrods would be guilty of felony murder, because Dennabys death was a foreseeable risk during a high speed pursuit, thus furthering the felony. The Axelrods can argue against felony-murder because the felony ended. The felony ended because the Axelrods, were not being chased for two hours; achieving a temporary place of safety. Neither the phone call, nor Abe hearing police sirens and attempting to flee restarts the original felony. Abe can be charged with reckless manslaughter. Abe knew there was a substantial risk that pedestrians could be on the street. Abe disregarded this risk by attempting to escape and speeding out of the parking lot without noticing Dennaby. Abe can also be charged with negligent homicide. Abe can argue for negligent homicide, because he was attempting to evade the police by speeding away from the drug store, and was not aware there was a risk that a pedestrian would be crossing the road in his path. Abes failure to perceive the risk was unreasonable under the circumstances.