Man Found Not Guilty After Accidental Shooting of Friend

September 10, 2022 Criminal Defense, News & Announcements, Violent Crimes

When someone dies, the immediate charge that people think of is murder or homicide. The State has specific laws and penalties for a human being dying, and it differs depending on the specific details of the case.

If a human being is killed in an accident, the criminal charge that is often given is manslaughter, which differs from murder charges. The biggest difference between murder and manslaughter is whether or not there was malicious intent to kill the victim.

In a recent trial, a man from South Florida has now been found not guilty in a case where he accidentally shot his friend and killed him. We will provide details on the case, along with the Statute for manslaughter in Florida.

What was the Incident?

In March 2018, Derek Jacob, 27, was arrested for accidentally shooting his friend. Jacob called the police to report the incident. According to the report, Jacob had been cleaning his gun when it accidentally went off and shot his friend in the chest.

“It was an accident, I did not know it was loaded,” Jacob told the authorities when they arrived at the scene around 2 am.

Jacob’s friend was still alive when the police arrived and Jacob was able to inform them that he knew it was an accident that his friend shot him. The police rushed the victim to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami to treat his gunshot wound. Unfortunately, the friend died of his injuries not long after.

After his friend passed, Jacob was charged with manslaughter. Almost four years after the fatal shooting, Jacob went to trial for the manslaughter charge. On September 6th, 2022, Jacob was found not guilty by the jury.

Now 31, Jacob will be released and not face any charges for the accidental death of his friend.

Manslaughter Charges in Florida

Manslaughter is defined under Florida Statute Section 782.07 as an unlawful killing of another human being without any malice or intent to seriously harm or kill someone. There are two types of manslaughter—voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.

Voluntary manslaughter is when someone dies, and the person responsible lacks an understanding of what they have done. Involuntary manslaughter is when the accused person’s negligence or disregard for safety has led to the death of another person.

If a person is accused of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, they could face a second-degree felony. The penalty for a second-degree felony includes up to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison. If this wasn’t bad enough, Florida has a mandatory minimum sentence of 9 1/4th years in prison.

The charges can be upgraded to a first-degree felony if the victim was a minor, disabled adult, elderly person, or emergency responder. The penalties for a first-degree felony in Florida include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison.

To find out more about manslaughter charges in Florida, read our blog, “What’s the Difference Between Murder and Manslaughter?”

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Getting accused of killing another human being—whether intentional or not—can lead to extremely harsh penalties. Even without malicious intent, a guilty conviction of a manslaughter charge can lead to expensive fines and extensive prison sentences. Your best bet at protecting yourself in a criminal case is to work with a skilled Florida manslaughter defense attorney.

We at Pumphrey Law Firm pride ourselves on standing by our clients’ side throughout the entire legal process. We vow to fight for your freedom. Call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today for a free consultation.

Written by Karissa Key

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