15.2502B. Second-Degree Murder

[First Alternative: Defendant felon acting alone:]
[1. I will start with some terminology and basic principles. The more serious types of crimes are called felonies. For example, [robbery] [type of crime] is a felony. Second-degree murder is often called felony-murder because it is a killing connected with a felony. [The felon need not intend to kill anyone or anticipate that anyone be killed. The person killed can be someone other than a victim of the felony. He or she need not die immediately; he or she may die much later and at a different place.] [give other specific details].]
2. The defendant has been charged with second-degree murder, that is, felony murder. To find the defendant guilty of this offense, you must find that the following three elements have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
First, that the defendant [killed] [caused the death of] [name of victim];
Second, that the defendant did so while [committing] [attempting] [fleeing after committing] [fleeing after attempting] a certain [robbery] [specific crime]; and
Third, that the defendant was acting with malice. You may find that the defendant was acting with malice if you are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that [he] [she] [committed] [attempted] the [robbery] [specific crime]. Because [robbery] [specific crime] is a crime inherently dangerous to human life, there does not have to be any other proof of malice.
[3. I will now define [robbery] [an attempt to commit robbery] [specific crime]: [definition].]
[4. A defendant kills “while fleeing” if he or she does the act that kills during his or her flight from the scene and there is no break in the chain of events between the felony and the killing.]
[Second Alternative: Killing by defendant’s co-felon:]
[1. I will start with some terminology and basic principles. The more serious types of crimes are called felonies. For example, [robbery] [other crime] is a felony. Second-degree murder is often called felony-murder because it is a killing connected with a felony. When two people are partners in a successful or unsuccessful attempt to commit a felony and one of them kills a third person, both partners may be guilty of felony-murder. [Neither partner has to intend to kill or anticipate that anyone be killed. The person killed can be someone other than a victim of the felony. He or she need not die immediately; he or she may die much later and at a different place.] [other specifics].]
2. The defendant has been charged with second-degree murder, that is, felony murder. To find the defendant guilty of this offense, you must find that the following four elements have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
First, that [name of defendant] [killed] [caused the death of] [name of victim];
Second, that [name of defendant] did so while [he] [she] and the defendant were partners in [committing] [attempting] a certain [robbery] [other crime];
Third, that [name of defendant] did the act that [killed] [caused the death of] [name of victim] in furtherance of the [robbery] [robbery attempt] [other crime]; and
Fourth, that the defendant was acting with malice. You may find that the defendant was acting with malice if you are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that [he] [she] and [name of partner] were partners in [committing] [[[[attempting] the [robbery] [other crime]. Because [robbery] [other crime] is a crime inherently dangerous to human life, there does not have to be any other proof of malice.
[3. I will now define [robbery] [an attempt to commit robbery] [other crime]: [[[[definition].]
4. Going back to the requirement that the defendant and [name of partner] were partners in [committing] [attempting] the [robbery] [other crime]:
[I instruct you that they were partners if they were both principals or one of them was a principal and the other was an accomplice. A person is a “principal” if he or she actually commits the crime or makes the attempt himself or herself. A person is an “accomplice” if, with the intent of encouraging or helping the commission of the crime he or she asks the principal to commit it or helps or agrees or attempts to help the principal in committing it.]
[I instruct you that they were partners if they conspired to commit the [[[[robbery] [other crime]. Two [or more] people “conspire” to commit a crime if, with the intent of encouraging or helping the commission of the crime, they agree that one or [both] [some] [all] of them will commit the crime [or an attempt or request to commit it] or that one of them will help the others in planning or committing it [or attempting to commit it or asking that it be committed.] Their agreement may be express and verbal–they may actually talk about it. Or their agreement may be an unspoken agreement that can be inferred from their words and conduct and the surrounding circumstances. Each knows what the other is thinking–they don’t have to talk about it. Finally, to complete the conspiracy, one of the conspirators must commit what the law calls an overt act. An overt act is an act by any member of the conspiracy that would serve to further the goal of the conspiracy. Here, the Commonwealth contends that [overt act] was such an act.]
[I instruct you that they were partners if .]
[5. I will now explain the meaning of the “in furtherance” element:]
[A partner’s act that kills is not in furtherance of the felony if the partner does the act for his or her own personal reasons that are independent of the felony.]
[A partner’s act that kills is in furtherance of the felony if he or she does the act while fleeing from the scene and if there is no break in the chain of events between the felony and the act. However, even though the partner’s act that kills may seem to meet these requirements, it is not in furtherance of the felony if the partner does the act for his or her own personal reasons that are independent of the felony and the effort to flee.]
[[reasons]]