Murder vs. Manslaughter: Criminal justice professor explains the - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Murder vs. Manslaughter charges

Murder vs. Manslaughter: Criminal justice professor explains the difference

Gregory Burroughs.  SOURCE: Jones County Jail Gregory Burroughs. SOURCE: Jones County Jail
Katherine Sinclair. Katherine Sinclair.
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

As WDAM continues coverage of the the death of Katherine Sinclair in Jones County, the difference between murder and manslaughter has been repeatedly asked.

Her former boyfriend, Gregory Burroughs, turned himself in to the Jones County Sheriff's Department Monday evening after being indicted on manslaughter charges by a Jones County grand jury.

Sinclair died after from a gunshot  wound she received on June 1, 2017 in Burroughs' garage.

"Any death that is not natural is a homicide," said University of Southern Mississippi Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. Alan Thompson. "If the death is a result of a criminal act, it's criminal homicide."

Within the variety of criminal homicides, the law breaks it down to murder and manslaughter charges. Thompson described the difference in charges.

"Murder is typically committed with intent and malice, a forethought," Thompson said. "The person planned and intended to commit the act."

If convicted of murder, a person can face up to life in prison or even capital punishment. Then there is manslaughter, the charge Burroughs faces in the death of his former girlfriend, Katherine Sinclair.

"Manslaughter is a lesser offense that still involves the death of an individual, but is generally not premeditated or perhaps it may even be accidental," Thompson said.

Leading up to the formal charges, it is the grand jury that makes the decision determining what charges an offender will face after hearing from state prosecutors. That's when the indictment is filed.

As criminal court proceedings continue, as in the Burroughs case, the next step after the offender is booked and officially charged will be for the defendant's attorney to decide whether the case be handled as a trial by jury or a bench trial, where the conviction is decided solely by a judge.

Someone facing manslaughter charges faces up to 20 years in prison. If the person is only sentenced to 12 months or less, the defendant will serve that sentence in the county jail.

Copyright WDAM 2017. All rights reserved. 

  • WDAM.com FeaturesMore>>

  • Former boyfriend arrested, charged with manslaughter in death of Katherine Sinclair

    Former boyfriend arrested, charged with manslaughter in death of Katherine Sinclair

    Monday, October 30 2017 11:09 PM EDT2017-10-31 03:09:53 GMT
    Greg Burroughs. SOURCE: Jones County jailGreg Burroughs. SOURCE: Jones County jail

    A Laurel man has been arrested on manslaughter charges in the death of Katherine Sinclair. Greg Burroughs, 38, who was Sinclair's boyfriend at the time of her death, turned himself in to the Jones County Sheriff's Department after a Jones County grand jury indicted him for manslaughter. Burroughs has been booked in the Jones County Jail. Sinclair died from a gunshot wound to the head on June 2, which she sustained the night before in her parked car inside her boyfriend’s ...

    More >>

    A Laurel man has been arrested on manslaughter charges in the death of Katherine Sinclair. Greg Burroughs, 38, who was Sinclair's boyfriend at the time of her death, turned himself in to the Jones County Sheriff's Department after a Jones County grand jury indicted him for manslaughter. Burroughs has been booked in the Jones County Jail. Sinclair died from a gunshot wound to the head on June 2, which she sustained the night before in her parked car inside her boyfriend’s ...

    More >>
  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Local Pine Belt students named Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athletes

    Local Pine Belt students named Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athletes

    Local Pine Belt students named Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athletes

    Monday, April 23 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-04-23 04:04:05 GMT
    WDAMWDAM
    WDAMWDAM

    16 top seniors across Mississippi are making strides, going home with a prestigious award. WDAM was able to speak with one of this years Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athlete award winners from Laurel High School. Todd Breland said, "I think it's awesome. The way Kimberton, not only his contributions to the athletic portion at Laurel High School, but the way he conducts himself at school everyday. He's always in a good mood. He's tremendous in the classroom. He's just an outstanding yo...

    More >>

    16 top seniors across Mississippi are making strides, going home with a prestigious award. WDAM was able to speak with one of this years Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athlete award winners from Laurel High School. Todd Breland said, "I think it's awesome. The way Kimberton, not only his contributions to the athletic portion at Laurel High School, but the way he conducts himself at school everyday. He's always in a good mood. He's tremendous in the classroom. He's just an outstanding yo...

    More >>
  • Local church delays Nicaragua mission trip for safety

    Local church delays Nicaragua mission trip for safety

    Sunday, April 22 2018 11:23 PM EDT2018-04-23 03:23:50 GMT
    source: wdamsource: wdam
    source: wdamsource: wdam

    The Carterville Baptist Church delayed their mission trip to Nicaragua after receiving an urgent phone call that the destination was no longer safe due to an unrest in the country. Pastor of Carterville Baptist Church and mission team lead Ben Skipper says the call came while members were waiting in line at the airport to receive their plane tickets.  

    More >>

    The Carterville Baptist Church delayed their mission trip to Nicaragua after receiving an urgent phone call that the destination was no longer safe due to an unrest in the country. Pastor of Carterville Baptist Church and mission team lead Ben Skipper says the call came while members were waiting in line at the airport to receive their plane tickets.  

    More >>
  • Police: 3 charged in shooting at Petal apartment

    Police: 3 charged in shooting at Petal apartment

    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:49 PM EDT2018-04-23 02:49:29 GMT
    Raul Tlaxcala, 18, charged with Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; (Photo Source: Petal Police jail docket)Raul Tlaxcala, 18, charged with Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; (Photo Source: Petal Police jail docket)

    Petal police are investigating a shooting that occurred Saturday night. According the authorities, the shooting happened around 8 o'clock at an apartment complex.  Detectives tell us the incident involved a man and three brothers. Detectives believe the shooting stemmed in a dispute involving a female. The fourth man involved, the victim, was shot once and was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The victim has since ...

    More >>

    Petal police are investigating a shooting that occurred Saturday night. According the authorities, the shooting happened around 8 o'clock at an apartment complex.  Detectives tell us the incident involved a man and three brothers. Detectives believe the shooting stemmed in a dispute involving a female. The fourth man involved, the victim, was shot once and was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The victim has since ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly