A South Carolina man is being held on a $55,000 bond after attempting to murder his teenage cousin for eating his potato chips. Ryan Langdale, of Colleton County, turned himself in to police after officers were called to the home where the cousin had been shot.
To begin with, both Langdale, 19, and the victim, his 17-year-old cousin, claimed the shooting was self-inflicted and occurred when the cousin was cleaning his hunting rifle. After the victim had surgery and recovered, his story changed. He told investigators that Langdale warned him not to eat his potato chips and shot him after accusing him of eating them. The victim says he never ate the chips as accused.
What is Attempted Murder in South Carolina?
South Carolina laws define attempted murder as when a person attempts to kill another person with malice aforethought, either implied or expressed. To be considered attempted murder, three key elements need to be present:
- You wanted to kill the person.
- You actually attempted to kill that person, above and beyond assault or beating someone up.
- You had ill will toward the person so much so that you wanted to kill them.
Penalties for Attempted Murder
Although the definition of attempted murder is someone complex, the penalty for attempted murder is much simpler. If you are found guilty of attempted murder, you can be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison and there is no exception to the penalty. The judge is not allowed to have the guilty party complete probation or pay a fine instead of serving prison time.
Possible Defenses for Attempted Murder
With such life-altering penalties for attempted murder, it is clear to see that you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. There are a few defenses, called affirmative defenses, that may be used if you are facing charges of attempted murder. They include, but are not limited to, the following:
You didn’t intend to kill the victim. Meaning you meant to cause the person harm, but not death. In this case, you will most certainly be charged with a lesser charge, but at least the charge will be reduced, and you will likely face a much lighter sentence.
Your actions were not premeditated. Unfortunate events happen, and you reacted the best you could, but you did not intend for such serious actions to occur.
You acted in self-defense. Perhaps you feared for your safety because you were threatened so you responded to protect the life of those around you or your own life.
How an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
An experienced criminal defense attorney like Lauren Taylor will review the facts of your case and determine if one of these affirmative defenses listed above would apply in your case. She will also answer any questions you might have about how the law applies to your case and what your legal options may be. Contact the office of Lauren Taylor Law if you or your loved one is facing charges of attempted murder or other criminal charges to schedule a consultation today.
Lauren Taylor is a Family Law and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. She graduated from the Charlotte School of Law, and has been practicing for several years now. Lauren Taylor relies on her experience and passion to fight for you during this stressful time. Learn more about her experience here.