Detroit Firefighter Charged with Second-Degree Murder Headed to Trial

gun fireIn February we wrote about the case of Terrill Hardaway, a 35-year-old Detroit Firefighter charged with second-degree murder in the 2012 shooting death of Tony Jackson.  Now, Hardaway is headed to trial and is scheduled for a Circuit Court arraignment on April 29, according to news reports at Mlive.com.

Hardaway allegedly went to a bar on December 20 of 2012, an establishment where Jackson worked as a disc jockey.  The two men became involved in an altercation when Hardaway pulled a gun and attempted to shoot Jackson.  The weapon was turned over to police after being confiscated.  Hardaway then went back to the Four Winds bar located on Schoolcraft nine days later; the two men got into a physical and verbal fight that was broken up by security.  Hardaway and Jackson were taken outside, however the altercation continued with both men pulling out guns.  Hardaway is reported to have shot Jackson numerous times, but was shot only once in the shoulder himself.

Hardaway is charged with felonious use of a firearm, and one count of second-degree murder.  A motive for the shooting has not yet been revealed by prosecutors.

Allegations of murder are extremely serious, whether an individual is charged with first- or second-degree murder.  Under Michigan Penal Code 750.317, second-degree murder includes all types of murder that are not defined as first-degree murder.  Those found guilty will face criminal penalties which include a prison term of any number of years to life behind bars.  Michigan criminal defense attorneys know that the circumstances are not always as they seem, and there are times when innocent people are accused of highly serious crimes.  An individual may have been wrongly accused, or acting in self-defense of him- or herself or others.

Regardless of the situation, it is imperative that anyone accused of a murder or homicide offense contact a highly capable defense lawyer immediately.  It may be possible to avoid having charges filed.  In the event that charges have already been filed, your attorney can work with you to determine if going to trial is the best approach, or if it may be more advantageous to negotiate a plea agreement with prosecutors, so that the damage to your life is minimal.  Never face charges of murder without the legal support and guidance of a highly trusted criminal defense lawyer.