After Wave Of Violence, Prosecutor Wants Bullet Spraying To Bring Murder Charges
By Christy Strawser
CBS Detroit Managing Editor
A shocking wave of violent crime has hit Detroit recently, with a 9-month-old boy slain when bullets from an AK-47 peppered his home after his mother fought over a baby shower seat.
A 6-year-old was killed on the east side in what appeared to be a carjacking by a pair of 15-year-olds with an AK-47 this week — who, incidentally, have a history of carjackings — while a 14-year-old was suspected of shooting his mother to death Monday while she slept on the couch. He was allegedly enraged when she didn’t let him hang out with his friends.
A 12-year-old girl was killed last month in a hail of gunfire, when a man and woman opened fire during an argument. The child was caught in the crossfire.
Responding to the crisis, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy proposed legislation Monday that would expand the definition of first degree felony murder to apply to those who spray bullets into a building.
It would make anyone charged with intentionally discharging a firearm at a dwelling or an occupied structure also eligible to be charged with first degree felony murder — which has a possible penalty of life in prison.
House Bill 5145 was introduces by state Reps. Thomas Stallworth, Lesia Liss, Jim Ananich, David Rutledge, Lisa Howze, and Fred Durhal Jr. Currently it has been referred by Representative Thomas Stallworth for a hearing before the Committee on Judiciary. Representative John Walsh, chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, is expected to announce a hearing date in March, Worthy’s office said.
“A change in the law is not the only solution to the problem of violent crime, but it is certainly well warranted. We have asked for this amendment to the existing law to address the senseless deaths that are caused when a house is sprayed with bullets,” Worthy said. “This elevates shooting into a building and killing someone to an offense that upon conviction is punishable by life in prison without parole. ”