According to authorities, three masked men broke into a Massachusetts man’s apartment with the intent of robbing him. During the robbery, two men were killed and two were injured. One man has been arrested and faces criminal charges in connection with the attempted robbery.
Of the three men who allegedly perpetrated the robbery, only one is currently in custody. The second assailant was killed during the robbery, and the third man involved has not yet been found. The man in custody allegedly told a witness that he accidentally shot the second assailant.
Police say that the man was apprehended trying to flee in a car after a foot chase through the woods. The man in custody has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, which include two counts of murder. Regardless of whether he was the one who shot the man whose apartment they were robbing, the man could be found guilty of murder under the felony murder rule. If someone is killed during the commission of a felony such as robbery, any suspect involved in the crime may be charged with murder as a result of that death.
Whether the man is convicted of the criminal charges against him remains to be seen. Massachusetts authorities are responsible for proving the man’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before an impartial court. Even then, a jury may not convict the man of the crimes originally charged by authorities. Often times, lesser offenses will be included for a jury to consider if the jury feels the state has not proven the original charges, or the state may offer the defendant a plea bargain. The bottom line is that the man is innocent unless and until proven guilty, and the burden to prove the accused guilty rests solely upon the shoulders of the prosecutor.
Source: Boston.com, “Haverhill police make arrest in double homicide,” July 30, 2012