Solicitation of Murder Charges: Penalties & Defense

Solicitation of murder Michigan criminal defense attorney, David J. Kramer

Jason Harris. 44, of Davison, Michigan is finding out the hard way that if you even joke about asking someone to kill your wife for you, and later she ends up dying, your charges will likely include “solicitation of murder.”

Harris is accused of dosing his 36-year-old wife, Christina Ann-Thompson Harris, with a drug in her cereal that caused her death on September 29, 2014. He called to ask a neighbor to check on her, and she was found unresponsive in her room.

Christina’s death was initially ruled an accidental overdose. However, when police interviewed various co-workers and friends of Harris and checked his cell phone messages, that cause was changed to homicide.

Now Harris is headed to trial where jurors may end up hearing about how Harris allegedly snuck drugs into his wife’s food and drink more than once. In addition, they may hear how he had solicited Christina’s murder from two different people.

The jury will also hear about how soon another woman moved into Harris’s house shortly after Christina’s death.

Solicitation Charges in Michigan

Solicitation of murder is one of several possible solicitation charges in Michigan. The law states that it is a crime to offer money or try to induce someone else to commit a crime with the intent that the other person commits that crime.

It includes offering money, promising to give money or services or anything of value, or giving those things in payment for another person to commit a felony offense. This could include:

  • Solicitation of Murder – Michigan Penal Code 750.157b(2)
  • Solicitation of a Child to Commit an Immoral Act – Michigan Penal Code 750.145a
  • Soliciting a Minor to Commit a Felony – Michigan Penal Code 750.157c
  • Solicitation of Providing Material Support for Terrorism – Michigan Penal Code750.543k

To prove a solicitation charge, prosecutors have to prove several elements were present in the crime. They must show:

  • That the defendant gave, promised, or offered services through words or actions,
  • Or that he gave, promised or offered money or property of value, or that he promised to forgive or forgave an obligation or debt.
  • They must also prove that his intent was for a specific crime to occur for the promised reward.

However, prosecutors do not have to prove that a crime occurred because of these actions, only that solicitation occurred. Of course, if a crime did happen, it would most likely add other charges. However, solicitation itself is a crime.

Criminal Penalties for Solicitation in Michigan

The penalties for solicitation depend upon which offense the defendant is convicted of soliciting. Generally, the solicitation penalties follow the penalties for the crime if it was committed.

Penalties for Felony Crime:

  • Five-year sentence up to life in prison
  • Less than five years in prison (misdemeanor)

Corresponding Penalties for Solicitation:

  • Maximum of 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines
  • Prison term not to exceed ½ the term allowed for the corresponding criminal offense

Solicitation of murder or felony, if you are convicted, will give you a permanent criminal record.

If the solicitation was sexual, you may be required to register as a sex offender, which can impact the whole rest of your life.

Solicitation of Murder – Michigan Criminal Lawyer

David J. Kramer, Detroit Federal Criminal Attorney

David J. Kramer, Criminal Attorney

For Jason Harris, the evidence of his alleged crime of solicitation or murder may never have come to the surface if his wife had not died. It will be up to the Genesee County prosecutor’s team to prove that both the homicide and solicitation occurred.

If you are facing charges related to solicitation in the State of Michigan, please call my office today for your free consultation. I will work to help you get the outcome you hope for!

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