A dead body was found in the middle of the street at Palm Beach County suburb over the weekend. The body belonged to a woman who died of apparent stab wounds. The suspect was 32-year-old Samantha E. Fox. She is being charged with second-degree murder.
It was a friend of the deceased, Julie Anna Morgan, who told authorities that he’d just seen his friend stabbed by her knife-wielding roommate. The 36-year-old Morgan had knife wounds to her head, chest, back, and arm.
Morgan’s friend told police that Morgan had asked him for a ride home. When they arrived, Fox was standing outside of the mobile home. Morgan exited the car and the two women began fighting until Morgan suddenly collapsed. As he went to tend to his friend, he noticed that Fox was holding a knife. Others said that Fox was looking for Morgan and making threatening statements.
Morgan’s sister-in-law exchanged text messages with Fox later that night. Fox denied having killed Morgan and said that she was hit by a car. A different witness told police that Morgan was seen running from her home before police arrived. She was carrying a cat and some belongings.
Fox told police that she had called Morgan’s friend to ask for some Xanax to help her sleep. When they got home, Morgan started yelling at her and a fight broke out. When police asked about the knife, Fox demanded a lawyer, which is about the only smart thing she did throughout any of this.
Fox Will Face Second-Degree Murder Charges
First-degree murder charges require active planning and then execution. Second-degree murder is different. Prosecutors must prove that the perpetrator had a “depraved mind” but they do not need to show planning. Second-degree murder is charged as either a first-degree felony or a capital felony depending on the circumstances. Typically, capital second-degree murder charges are felony murder charges. In other words, death resulted from the commission of a planned felony like robbery. In this case, Fox will be charged with a first-degree felony which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years.
Defending Against Second-Degree Murder
It’s unclear what happened here. If you have two women who were beefing with one another, then pulling a knife to end the beef would be considered excessive. However, stand your ground laws could be interpreted as giving a person the right to use lethal force when defending themselves against an unarmed assault.
Another possibility is that there was a mental health aspect to this that isn’t being fully considered. In that case, manslaughter may be a possibility. If the defendant’s mind was only “depraved” because of psychosis, then second-degree murder would not be appropriate.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
The Skier Law Firm, P.A. represents those charged with serious crimes. Call our West Palm Beach criminal attorneys today to learn more about how we can help build your defense, protect your rights, and secure your future.