Any time a death occurs as a result of a felony, even if the criminal did not do anything directly to the victim, is considered a murder according to The Felony Murder Rule. This is North Carolina's current homicide law.
SUBCHAPTER III. OFFENSES AGAINST THE PERSON
§ 14-17. Murder in the first and second degree defined; punishment.
A murder which shall be perpetrated by means of 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
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