N.Y. Penal Law § 125.25(3) states that a felony murder is committed when a person, acting alone or in concert with others, commits or attempts to commit one of nine predicate felonies, of which robbery is one, and in the course of and in furtherance of such crime or of immediate flight therefrom, he, or another participant, if there be any, causes the death of a person other than one of the participants.
Defendant robbed a store and while attempting to flee, shot and killed a police officer. He was charged with and convicted of manslaughter, felony murder in the first degree, robbery in the first degree and grand larceny in the third degree. Defendant appealed claiming that the shooting of the officer did not occur as part of the original crime and so should not have been considered felony murder. The appellate court held that the homicide occurred in the immediate flight from the felony crime scene and affirmed the original ruling.
Was the homicide committed in immediate flight from the robbery properly presented to the jury as a question of fact?
The killing of the police officer happened during the defendant's immediate flight from the commission of the initial felony. Here, the jury, by its verdict, found that the defendant did not possess a murderous intent.