What is Leon County’s Anatomy of a Homicide Project?

April 22, 2022 Criminal Defense, Violent Crimes

In November 2021, Leon County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) published a report to outline a five-year analysis of homicides in Leon County. This report is called Anatomy of a Homicide Report the first of its kind and is aimed to help stop violent crimes across the county.

A team was assembled in April 2021 to review homicide reports from 2015-2020. The data looks at commonalities, if any, between the people, conditions, and circumstances that have contributed to past homicides in Leon County.

The team was able to collaborate with the Florida Sheriff’s Association (FSA) and gathered a detailed report summarizing the findings of the following data of homicide offenders and victims:

  • Locations of the homicide
  • Day/Month that the homicide took place
  • Weapons used in the homicide
  • Circumstances of the homicide
  • Primary factors

In addition, there were strategies provided to help reduce violence, programs used in other cities and states, and how to move forward as a county. We will review the report and its characteristics to have a clear understanding on Leon County’s initiative.

Anatomy of Homicide

LCSO made it clear that the dedication of the “Anatomy of a Homicide” report is for the victims of homicides—including the family and friends of those involved in a homicide in Leon County.

Sheriff Walt McNeil provided the following comment:

“While we may never fully comprehend the circumstances of these events, we will build on what we have learned by advocating for additional research, improved data collection and analysis, increased collaboration and information sharing between agencies, providers, and the community, and solutions which are both evidence-based and community informed. The “Anatomy of a Homicide” Project was the agency’s first step and we plan to continue to enhance our understanding and collaboration.”

The following is a list of goals from the data retrieved in the “Anatomy of a Homicide” report:

  • Finding and analyzing commonalities between homicide offenders and victims.
  • Identifying if there are any underlying issues such as adverse childhood experiences (ACE) that may have had a factor in contributing to the homicide.
  • Reviewing and trying to understand the factors of behavior, socialization, environmental, economic, or situations that may have been experienced by both the offender and victims.
  • Identifying any commonalities in the time, location, and methods of the homicide.
  • Attempting to understand the motive that contributed to the homicide.
  • Identifying investigative and intelligence gaps and methods for future research.
  • Finding recommendations to prevent future homicides.

Key Points

The following is a list of key points from the data:

  • The sample included 108 victims and 125 offenders within the 103 cases reviewed.
  • Men were six times more likely to be the victim of a homicide than women; men were also 17 times more likely to perpetrate a homicide than women. From the 103 cases reviewed, 86% of the offenders were men, and 14% did not specify the sex of the offender.
  • The age range of 42% of the victims and 35% of offenders were between 15-24. The age range of 25-34 was the next highest with 34% of victims and 32% of offenders. The age range of 35 and up was only found in 22% of victims and 17% of offenders.
  • Based on the data, the average age of a victim was 29.6, and the average age of the offender was 28.
  • The percentage of offenders with previous criminal charges was 84%, and the percentage of victims with previous charges was 52%. 58% of the offenders had one or more previous violent crime charges, and 28% of victims had previous charges for violent crimes.
  • The percentage of previous firearm-related charges was 35% for offenders and 14% for victims.
  • Out of the 103 cases, 4 of the known offenders and 1 of the victims had a previous homicide charge.
  • Out of all of the cases, 95% of the homicides resulted in the death of only one person, whereas only five cases involved two or more deaths.
  • 61 out of 103 of the cases involved the offender and victim(s) knowing each other. There were 7 cases in which the offender and victim were friends, and 3 cases involved the offender and victim living together.

To find out more about homicides and the potential defenses in the state of Florida, find our blog here.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or a loved one have been accused of a violent crime, it is imperative that you contact a Florida defense attorney in your area. A homicide is one of the most severe criminal charges, and can lead to extreme penalties. It is important to strategize for the best possible defense to your case. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have experience representing clients all across Florida for violent crimes, including homicides. Call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today for a free consultation.

Written by Karissa Key

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