Oftentimes criminal charges brought against a person are for an act he or she directly committed. However, that is not always the case. When it comes to felony murder in Missouri, a person may face a felony murder charge even if he or she did not kill anyone. According to The Marshall Project, felony murder is the charge levied against you if someone dies when you commit any felony crime.
For example, if you break into a business with an accomplice and your accomplice slips and falls, then you may face a charge of felony murder. The type of felony is of no consequence as the state treats any death during the commission of any felony the same.
Such charges are often controversial. They come with similar sentences as other murder charges, but in this case, you never actually murdered anyone, which some people feel makes sentences too harsh. On the other hand, those who uphold this charge say it is to hold you accountable for your decisions. If you never committed the felony, then the person would not have died. It is holding someone accountable for a death basically.
This charge is found across the country. Most states have varying degrees of how they charge criminals in this type of situation. Some states are more lenient than others. In any case, it often comes down to the jury. If you can convince them to not hold you accountable, then you may avoid the charge. This information is not legal advice. It is for educational use only.