A Missouri bill awaiting the governor’s decision clarifies that a person can be charged with homicide and had the premediated intent to kill, even if the suspect targeted a random victim. Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold, told Missourinet the reason she filed the bill is because her constituent’s son was murdered.

“The man who killed him decided that he was going to just kill whomever picked him up when he was hitchhiking,” she said. “The previous St. Louis County prosecutor declined to seek first degree murder saying that there wasn’t an ability to have transferred intent because the killer had decided that he was going to murder somebody but not this specific person.”

Coleman saidit clarifies the law to make sure a prosecutor does not misinterpret case law.

“Case law has held for over 100 years that if you intend to kill someone once you identify who that person is then you have premeditated murder for that particular person,” Coleman explained. “So this was really clarifying language to try to bring some healing to a family who lost their loved one.”

Someone who spoke in opposition to the bill said the legislation could make convicting someone of homicide easier, even if the suspect did not intend to kill the victim.

The governor has until July 14 to make up his mind on this bill and the other policy bills the legislature passed this year.

Click here for more information on Senate Bill 227.

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