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What is Wanton Murder?

Kentucky law allows for a conviction of murder as an intentional act or as a wanton act. KRS 507.020 defines wanton murder as follows: Including, but not limited to, the operation of a motor vehicle under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person and thereby causes the death of another person. Wanton is defined in (3) of KRS 501.020 as: "Wantonly" -- A person acts wantonly with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who creates such a risk but is unaware thereof solely by reason of voluntary intoxication also acts wantonly with respect thereto. If a person dies in relation to an automobile accident, they may be charged with a crime of reckless homicide, manslaughter or murder.  The charges vary not only by the facts of the particular case, but also by the individual prosecutor or county in which it occurred.  Some prosecutors will charge high with the hopes of pleading the case down.  Others believe that murder is the appropriate charge.  Like virtually all DUI cases, the surrounding community outrage or lack thereof often plays into the charge, as well as the criminal history of the defendant. If you have been charged with DUI, murder, wanton murder or wanton endangerment, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.  For consultation in Northern Kentucky, contact the Bouldin Law Firm and Michael Bouldin by email at [email protected] or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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