Kingfish at Jackson Jambalaya was the first to suggest that Karen Irby could be indicted for depraved-heart murder in her vehicular homicide case. She was, indeed, indicted on that charge.
Yesterday, the Mississippi Court of Appeals affirmed a life sentence on a conviction for depraved-heart murder -- in a vehicular homicide case called Nichols v. State.
That's not the first time the state appellate courts have applied Section 97-3-19(1)(b) to motor vehicle accident deaths. In Sanders v State, 942 So. 2d 156 (Miss. 2006), the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed a conviction for depraved heart murder arising from a fatal car crash.
And in White v State, 964 So. 2d 1181 (Miss. App. 2007), the Court of Appeals affirmed a conviction on that theory where the defendant ran down a police officer (who was on foot) while trying to flee the scene.
But it can't help Mrs. Irby that even super-lawyer Jim Waide, representing Nichols, couldn't prevent a vehicular homicide from resulting in a life sentence for murder -- even though the Court noted there was no evidence of intent to kill.