Brief Fact Summary. The Defendant, Leon Bruce (Defendant) and two other men entered victim Barry Tensor’s shoe store with the intention of robbing it. Upon finding the cash register empty, the Defendant pointed his gun at the victim and threatened him. The Defendant shot the victim in the stomach, seriously wounding him.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Attempted felony murder is not a crime in Maryland.
Issue. Is attempted felony murder a crime in Maryland?
Held. No. A conviction for felony murder requires no specific intent to kill. A criminal attempt requires a specific intent to commit the offense, coupled with a substantial step toward committing the offense beyond mere preparation. Hence, since attempt requires a specific intent to commit the offense, but felony murder requires no specific intent to kill, attempted felony murder cannot be a crime.
Discussion. Attempted felony murder cannot be a crime since felony murder does not require a specific intent to kill. In other words, one cannot attempt to commit a crime he or she does not intend to commit.