A Jacksonville woman was arrested in Jacksonville on a murder charge last week, accused of shooting her ex-boyfriend several times when he went to a Jacksonville Post Office to pick up some mail. Arianne Myles was arrested the day after the shooting, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Police say Myles was driving and saw Harold Davis in the Post Office parking lot. She then pulled into the parking lot, got a gun from the trunk of her car and opened fire, shooting Davis several times and killing him, the newspaper reported.
Myles is in jail with no Duval County bond and will be arraigned on formal charges next month. Prosecutors have not yet filed the charges, they have 40 days to do so, and it’s not yet clear what degree murder Myles will be charged with. If the state does decide to file a first-degree murder charge, it must go to a grand jury to have the decision approved. If Myles is convicted of or pleads guilty to first-degree murder in this Jacksonville Violent Crimes Case, the only possibilities for her sentence are life in prison or the death penalty.
The difference between first-degree murder and other murder charges is the state must prove the killing was premeditated for it to be first-degree murder. Myles and Davis dated for more than two years and Myles ended the relationship but then sought to get back together, the newspaper reported. By that time, Davis had moved on. There have been no media reports of how Myles happened upon Davis that day, and happened to have a gun in the trunk of her car. The newspaper reported she did not have any concealed weapons permits, nor did she have any criminal record. There also did not appear to be an argument in the parking lot, or anything that may have started small and escalated to the point Myles allegedly decided to go get a gun to protect herself.
Premeditation can be tricky when it comes to charges in a Jacksonville Violent Crimes case like this. While it’s often thought of as a detailed, well thought-out plan, the length of time in premeditation is not a factor. For example, if Myles spotted Davis and then pulled into the parking lot with the mindset to get her gun and shoot and kill him, that could be considered premeditation. It may be somewhat spur-of-the-moment, but the sole reason she would have turned into the parking lot was for this confrontation and, if she didn’t try to talk to him or anything else, it would indicate her sole purpose was to kill Davis.
Second-degree murder can charged is a person kills another person, but there is no premeditation to kill the other person. The premeditation issue will likely be the predominant issue in this case, should the state ultimately decide to file first-degree murder charges. But just because it is charged, doesn’t mean it will stick. Earlier this year, the state sought first-degree murder in a somewhat similar domestic murder case, but the jury instead convicted the suspect of second-degree murder. (See our previous Jacksonville Criminal Attorney Blog) The sentence has yet to be given in that case, but that jury decision could be the difference in whether the defendant is ever released from prison.
If you or a loved one needs a Jacksonville Violent Crimes Attorney in Duval County or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Duval County Violent Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.