S 1




Short Title: Britny's Law: IPV Homicide.



Senators Barefoot, J. Jackson, and Britt (Primary Sponsors).

Referred to:

Rules and Operations of the Senate

April 5, 2017


AN ACT to acknowledge and provide for domestic VIOLENCE HOMICIDE in the statutory scheme for first and second degree homicide.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. G.S. 14‑17 reads as rewritten:

" 14‑17. Murder in the first and second degree defined; punishment.

(a) A murder which shall be perpetrated by means of a nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon of mass destruction as defined in G.S. 14‑288.21, poison, lying in wait, imprisonment, starving, torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing, or which shall be committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of any arson, rape or a sex offense, robbery, kidnapping, burglary, or other felony committed or attempted with the use of a deadly weapon shall be deemed to be murder in the first degree, a Class A felony, and any person who commits such murder shall be punished with death or imprisonment in the State's prison for life without parole as the court shall determine pursuant to G.S. 15A‑2000, except that any such person who was under 18 years of age at the time of the murder shall be punished in accordance with Part 2A of Article 81B of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes.

(a1) A murder shall be presumed "willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing" under subsection (a) of this section, and thereby to be a murder in the first degree, a Class A felony, if the murder is committed upon a spouse, former spouse, a person with whom the defendant lives or has lived as if married, a person with whom the defendant is or has been in a dating relationship as defined in G.S. 50B‑1(b)(6), or a person with whom the defendant shares a child in common, if the murder was perpetrated by malice as described in subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of this section, and one of the following additional factors is present:

(1) The perpetrator has previously been convicted of one of the following offenses involving the same victim:

a. Any crime involving the violation of a domestic violence protective order under G.S. 50B‑4(a), (f), (g), or (g1) or G.S. 14‑269.8 when the same victim is the subject of the domestic violence protective order;

b. Any crime in which assault is an element;

c. Communicating threats (G.S. 14‑277.1) or harassing phone calls (G.S. 14‑196); or

d. Any felony listed in G.S. 15A‑830.

(2) The perpetrator has previously stalked the victim, as defined in G.S. 14‑277.3A; or

(3) On more than one prior occasion engaged in an act of domestic violence as defined in G.S. 50B‑1(a) upon the victim.

(b) A murder other than described in subsection (a) or (a1) of this section or in G.S. 14‑23.2 shall be deemed second degree murder. Any person who commits second degree murder shall be punished as a Class B1 felon, except that a person who commits second degree murder shall be punished as a Class B2 felon in either of the following circumstances:

(1) The malice necessary to prove second degree murder is based on an inherently dangerous act or omission, done in such a reckless and wanton manner as to manifest a mind utterly without regard for human life and social duty and deliberately bent on mischief.

(2) The murder is one that was proximately caused by the unlawful distribution of opium or any synthetic or natural salt, compound, derivative, or preparation of opium, or cocaine or other substance described in G.S. 90‑90(1)d., or methamphetamine, and the ingestion of such substance caused the death of the user.

(c) For the purposes of this section, it shall constitute murder where a child is born alive but dies as a result of injuries inflicted prior to the child being born alive. The degree of murder shall be determined as described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section."

SECTION 2. This act becomes effective December 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.