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Baton Rouge dad confesses to shooting teen son in quarrel

A recent argument between a Baton Rouge father and son ended with the parent's arrest. The 18-year-old teen's mother contacted police after her son was shot as he fled from the family's home. According to allegations by police, the father fired at his son several times following a quarrel about orange juice.

The 58-year-old defendant admitted he reached for a handgun after the teen broke a vase during an argument over the amount of juice in the house. The father followed as his son ran out of the home and down the street. The dad admitted he shot at the teen – at least three times, according to authorities.

The teen was hospitalized, but was not severely injured, after being struck in the buttocks by one of the bullets. The father was booked and jailed. He now faces criminal charges for illegal use of a dangerous weapon and attempted manslaughter.

Unlike murder, manslaughter is not a calculated crime. The homicide is referred to as a "crime of passion," often a sudden response to provocation. The heat of the moment temporarily robs a person of reason, but the result is a homicide or an attempted killing that, for lack of premeditation, is less serious than murder but still carries very severe consequences.

A homicide is murder not manslaughter if the killing occurs after the defendant's blood has had time to cool. In other words, the time of the killing in relation to the cooling off period can determine whether the offense is an immediate, thoughtless response to anger or murder. Juries sometimes have to decide whether the defendant's rage-filled reaction was justified by the provocation.

Avoiding a murder charge is a primary goal for criminal defense attorneys defending clients charged with homicide. Nevertheless, manslaughter and attempted manslaughter remain very serious charges. A lack of intent does not prevent severe punishments for defendants convicted of manslaughter.

Source: The Advocate, "Baton Rouge police: Father shoots 18-year-old son after orange juice runs out, porcelain vase breaks" Mar. 22, 2015

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