On August 20, rapper Kid Cali was killed at a Granada Hills pool party. Since then, police have been investigating the case and searching for a suspect. On Tuesday, September 13, Kenny Birdine, 19, of Inglewood, was arrested under suspicion of murder. The party was publicized via social media, and it’s said that over 100 people showed up. Police believe the shooting was gang related, but do not believe that Kid Cali himself was a member of a gang. Additionally, police are not yet sure whether Kid Cali was the intended victim or if he was simply caught in cross-fire.
Birdine has been formally charged with first-degree murder and is currently being held in lieu of $3,065,000 bail.
Murder is covered under California Penal Code 187 and is described as the unlawful killing of a human being or fetus with “malice aforethought.” The term “malice aforethought” can be misleading, because it sounds like it means the person had ill-will toward the victim. However, “malice aforethought” actually means is that with wanton disregard for human life, a person committed an action that has a high probability to result in the death of someone else.
Murder is charged in one of three ways: first-degree, second-degree and capital murder.
Elements of first-degree murder:
- Killing someone using an explosive or destructive device
- Killing someone after lying in wait or inflicting torture
- A killing that is willful, deliberate and premeditated
- Via the felony-murder rule
The felony-murder rule takes effect when a person is killed during the commission of a dangerous felony. This means that murder charges can be brought up against someone who committed a completely different felony, and didn’t even intend to kill or injure anyone.
Typically, first-degree murder convictions carry the penalty of 25-years to life in state prison. If the murder was committed as a hate crime, the penalty increases to life without the possibility of parole.