A jury found that a Connecticut man, who police claimed shot and killed a 47-year-old man during a robbery at A Circle H Food Mart, did not do it on purpose. The 27-year-old Hartford man was convicted of felony murder, manslaughter and robbery on June 10. According to reports, the incident occurred on Aug. 25, 2012, when the man went into the Circle H Food Mart on Burnside Avenue. The man claimed that a drug dealer forced him to rob the store because he owed him $1,700.
The 27-year-old man admitted to shooting the 47-year-old inside the Circle H Food Mart but said that the gun had gone off accidentally when he pulled the firearm's hammer back. A former chief medical examiner told the courts that the bullet, found in the 47-year-old's body, was deformed, and a firearms expert brought in by the defense testified that the deformations could have been caused by the cylinder and barrel of the gun not being lined up when the shot was fired. The firearms expert also told the courts that it was possible for the gun to accidentally be fired in the way the 27-year-old claimed.
Even though the 27-year-old was able to successfully show reasonable doubt that he meant to kill the man, he could still be facing a life sentence in prison for the convictions. The sentencing is set to occur on Aug. 12.
When a defendant is convicted of a felony, that does not mean that the defense's role is over. Crimes have minimum and maximum sentences, depending on the severity of the crime, and the defense may be able to persuade the courts to hand down a more lenient sentence.
Source: Daily Journal, "Man convicted of felony murder in shooting death of East Hartford store clerk" No author given, Jun. 11, 2014