He made one bad decision that would lead to his arrest and trial for "felony murder".
The boy was unarmed, and had killed no one. He himself was shot and injured in the incident while his friend standing beside him was also shot and killed. Yet Blake Layman would go on to be found guilty by a jury and sentenced to 55 years in a maximum-security prison for a shooting that he did not carry out.
How could this happen?
Blake Layman and some friends/acquaintances entered a house to burglarize it, believing no one was home. But the homeowner was home, and shot at the intruders.
Blake and his friends were all unarmed, did not fire a single shot, it was they themselves who were shot at. The homeowner was the only one with a gun.
Yet under Indiana law, Blake and the three others who were with him (the ones who were still alive) were guilty of murder.
Some 46 states in the U.S. have some form of felony murder rule on their statute books. Of those, 11 states unambiguously allow for individuals who commit a felony that ends in a death to be charged with murder even when they were the victims, rather than the ones directly responsible for the killing.
However, Indiana is not one of these 11 states, and under the exact wording of the state law Layman and his friends should be guilty only of burglary. Yet this did not stop them from being prosecuted and found guilty of murder. Blake's other friend, who was with him, pleaded guilty under a plea deal and was sentenced to 45 years.
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/fel ... ?ocid=iehp
I do not know how these things can happen. Really makes one wonder how much justice is actually in the court systems. The prosecutor ought to be fired, and the judge is guilty of negligence... in my opinion. There are so many issues with this. It's no wonder criminals completely disregard any and all laws, with all the grossly unfair and excessive sentences being meted out by the courts, if they are choosing to break one law they might as well go all out. Hate to say this, but maybe the burglars would have been better off if they were carrying guns themselves, at least they would have had a possibility of escaping.
Apparently this has to do with the so-called "felony murder" legal doctrine, which seeks to hold a criminal responsible for the indirect effects of their crimes.