In order for the state to charge you with murder and get a court to find you guilty of the charge in North Carolina, the prosecution has to prove certain things. These are elements. For murder, the prosecution will have to prove all of the required elements beyond a reasonable doubt for a jury or judge to find you guilty of the crime of murder. For this reason, it is essential that you understand the elements required to prove murder.

 The UNC School of Government explains there are two options for proving first-degree murder. The first option is very straightforward and has only one main element. This is proving that you caused the death of someone else while committing a felony crime. The court will require the prosecution to prove that you are guilty of the felony crime and that you used a deadly weapon to kill the victim. Finally, the prosecution must also prove that had you not committed the felony, the person would not have died.

 The other option for first-degree murder is to show that you killed another person with willful intent using a deadly weapon. This could be premeditated or not. However, the prosecution must show you either did it with premeditation, deliberation or intentional malice. In other words, you intended for your actions to kill the victim and your actions did in fact kill the victim.

 This is a very stripped down version of the elements required to prove first-degree murder. However, the takeaway is that the prosecution must show you willfully killed the victim using a deadly weapon as a basis for this charge. This information is for education and is not legal advice.