Felony murder is where one unintentionally or accidentally kills another while engaged in the commission of some other felony and the law creates a fiction, from the state of mind that consents to the commission of the underlying felony, and implies malice aforethought when death is caused by an act resulting from such wrongful, felonious intent. A death is essential to the application of this ancient legal fiction …. A legal fiction can be stretched only so far and this is why the fiction breaks when an effort is made to stretch it further to include the specific intent essential to the crime of attempt. The reasoning of transferred intent upon which the crime of felony murder is based to rationalize the absence of specific intent as to the killing, comes full circle and is rationally inconsistent with the crime of attempt which necessitates a specific intent to commit another crime.
Finally, having viewed the video recording of this incident made the by camera in Officer George Vassilakis’ patrol car several times with Detective Hofer, I do not believe that it can be proven that Wilkes or his coperpetrators committed or aided in intentional act directed toward Officer Vassilakis.
It appears from the video that as Officer Vassilakis approached, Wilkes struck Sergeant Harrison and then pulled around from behind the Sergeant’s patrol car and almost immediately collided with the vehicle driven by officer Vassilakis, neither driver being in a position to avoid the crash although Officer Vassilakis reported having sufficient time to react and apply his brakes.
- Peter La Porte
Broward State Attorney’s Office