There have been a lot of different trends that data-driven law enforcement techniques have discovered. One of the most important is the fact that the vast majority of murders are done by people who know the victim, rather than by strangers – something that came as a surprise to many members of the public.
Now, some recent statistics about the murders that were committed in Maine in 2018 drive the point home: Half of the state's alleged homicides were related to domestic violence.
Half of Maine's Homicides Were Allegedly Domestic Violence Situations
There were 18 homicides – defined as an intentional killing of someone else – in Maine in 2018. The total was down from 22 in 2017 and was the first time there were fewer than 20 homicides since 2005.
Nine of those 18 homicides, though, have been defined as domestic violence – when the alleged perpetrator killed another family member or an intimate partner.
Of course, these numbers can change: nearly all of the alleged murderers have lodged not guilty pleas and many of them are likely to take their cases to trial. If the jury acquits them or only finds them guilty on a lesser charge of unintentional killing, like manslaughter, then the number would drop.
Breaking Down the Data
While nine domestic violence-related homicides is a small number compared to the rest of the nation, it's still worth taking a closer look at the details behind some of the incidents.
Out of the nine alleged homicides related to domestic violence, three proved to be murder-suicides. Two of those involved a husband shooting and killing his wife and then killing himself. The third involved a longtime boyfriend killing his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself.
Two of the remaining six incidents involve parents who were apparently killed by their children or grandchildren. Neither of these incidents involved firearms. However, one has led to three teenagers – the deceased mother's son and two of his friends – to being charged.
Another incident involved a stepparent allegedly beating his 10-year-old stepdaughter to death. The girl's mother had recently tried to annul the marriage.
Two of the others involved firearms and longtime intimate partners. In one, a woman was allegedly killed by her brother-in-law who was also her neighbor.
Domestic violence-related homicides reveal the following trends:
- All of the alleged victims were women;
- Six of the incidents involved a firearm;
- Six of the seven incidents involving violence between adults also involved a firearm (while the weapon used in the seventh altercation is still undisclosed); and
- Nearly all the violence involving adults were between intimate partners or people who were married.
Domestic Violence Defense at WTB Law
The criminal defense lawyers at WTB Law strive to represent people who have been accused of domestic violence in Maine. Many of these allegations are grounded on unreliable evidence that can be challenged in court and shown to be nothing more than an attempt to taint your reputation for the accuser's own gain.
Contact us online or call our Portland law office at (207) 571-8146.