Memorial Day Murder – Mother of Administrative Judge Killed by Daughter

June 3, 2022 Criminal Defense, Violent Crimes

A not so memorable case has just occurred in the Tallahassee area this past weekend. An 80-year-old woman was stabbed by her own daughter, who had found it difficult to take care of her mother.

Days after the stabbing, the mother tragically passed in the hospital due to her injuries. What was originally an attempted homicide has now been upgraded to even worse charges, while the other daughter—an administrative judge in Florida—deals with losing her mother.

We will cover the details of the case, the newest charges, and information on premeditated murder in the state of Florida.

What was the Incident?

Brigette Ffolkes, 57, was charged on May 27th, 2022 for attempted homicide after stabbing her own mother in her home. Francine Ffolkes, sister to Brigette and an administrative law judge, was woken up to the sound of her sibling banging on her door. After hearing her sister in a panic, Francine called the authorities to state that her mother had been stabbed.

According to Francine, Brigette admitted to attacking their 80-year-old mother, who had dementia and had trouble with mobility. There was a kitchen knife found with blood still visible on it, along with a metal candlestick holder, which Brigette had used to hit her mother.

A Tallahassee Police Department affidavit stated, “Brigette stated [to police that] it has been difficult to take care of her mother and [she] had been planning to kill her for a few months.” The other sister, Francine, allegedly had no idea about the “plan.”

Joan Ffolkes, the mother of the two women, was rushed to the hospital for the injuries from the stabbing. Brigitte Ffolkes was initially charged with attempted homicide on Friday afternoon. However, the charges have just been upgraded.

Upgraded Charges in the Case

On Monday afternoon on Memorial Day, Joan Ffolkes passed away from the injuries. Now that her mother has died, Brigitte is facing harsher charges. What originally started with attempted homicide has now been upgraded to a premeditated murder charge, TPD spokesperson Heather Merritt announced on Monday.

First-degree murder, especially when it is premeditated, is taken very seriously in the state of Florida. There are severe penalties that a defendant faces when convicted of a first-degree murder, which we will cover further in the upcoming section.

Premeditated Murder in Florida

Florida Statute section 782.04 covers the laws on murder, which is the unlawful killing of another human being. Premeditated murder falls under murder in the first degree. Premeditated means that the crime had been planned ahead of time. There is no specific time frame under the law between when the premeditation was formed with the intent to kill and the actual act of killing the victim. There is included, however, that the alleged suspect had to have enough time to reflect on their actions.

In order for the prosecution to prove that the crime was premeditated first-degree murder, they must be able to prove the following:

  • The victim is dead
  • The death was caused by the criminal act of the defendant
  • The murder was premeditated, or pre-planned

First-degree murder is considered a capital felony in Florida. This means the state is able to pursue the death penalty. If the death penalty is not given unanimously as a sentence then the defendant would be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

If you want to find out about various violent crimes or finding a Tallahassee murder and homicide defense attorney, find our informative blogs.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Premeditated murder is one of the harshest charges a defendant can face. If you or a loved one have been accused of such a crime, or a similar violent crime, it is imperative that you reach out to a criminal defense lawyer in Tallahassee, FL. Getting quality legal advice can help with strategizing a strong defense for your case. Don Pumphrey and his legal team at Pumphrey Law Firm have represented clients all across the state of Florida for various criminal charges. We promise to stand by your side throughout the entire legal process and fight for your freedom. For a free consultation, call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today.

Written by Karissa Key

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