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A person charged with an "open count of murder" typically has been charged with an intentional killing of another person, but the State does not yet know what degree of killing the evidence would eventually prove at trial.

New Mexico's homicide laws separate intentional killings into three crimes: First-degree Murder, Second-degree murder, and Voluntary Manslaughter.

First-degree murder is further separated into three types: Willful and deliberate murder (what we'd call "premeditated murder"), Felony murder, and Depraved Mind Murder (a killing by any act dangerous to the lives of others, indicating a depraved mind that is indifferent to human life).

New Mexico Statutes Annotated 1978, Sections 30-2-1 and 30-2-3

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2012-07-13 22:04:27
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Q: What does an open count of murder mean in the State of New Mexico?
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