A botched Jacksonville Armed Robbery last week left one suspect dead and the other charged with murder, though he wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger. Two men started threatening employees at a Dollar General store one night last month, with one of them holding the store manager at gunpoint with what police described as a BB gun that looked extremely authentic and was easily mistaken for a real gun, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union.
A man who just happened to be shopping in the store on his way home from work, saw the commotion at the front of the store and walked to the front with his gun drawn, the newspaper reported. The man ordered the suspect holding the clerk at gunpoint to drop his weapon and, when he didn’t, the man shot the suspect in the head, chest and shoulder, killing him. The second suspect took off running and was arrested in Jacksonville the next day after a family member alerted police, the newspaper reported. The shopper has not been charged with a crime and is not expected to be, as police lauded his bravery in helping prevent further violence and crime that evening.
But the charges got exponentially worse for Aundre Krishna Campbell, 19, who is now charged with Duval County felony murder in the death of his accomplice. In Florida, a person can be charged with murder if someone is killed while that person is committing a felony. In this case Campbell and Rakeem Deveal Odoms were trying to rob the store – clearly a felony and Campbell is also charged with robbery in Jacksonville in this case. And the fact that the guns turned out to be fake has no bearing on the seriousness of the charges in this case. More charges against Campbell could be coming, because police say they suspect he and Odoms in several other similar robberies throughout town. The state uses felony murder charges pretty regularly in Jacksonville. Last month, a man accused of chasing and beating another man who was trying to drive off was charged with murder after the driver ran over another man and killed him. Several years ago, three teens who robbed a video game store were charged with felony murder after their getaway driver tried to elude police and was shot and killed by an officer after crashing the vehicle and running, refusing to put his hands in the air. In many cases, felony murder is a charge the state uses as a hammer in cases like this, trying to get a suspect to accept a lengthy prison sentence. It seems a little much to charge someone with murder when they don’t even pull the trigger, but the state says it uses the charges as a deterrent for other violent crimes — armed robbery, for example – that can lead to murder.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Duval County violent crimes lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.