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Man facing murder charges for suicide of partner

A man is facing depraved heart murder charges stemming from the December 2015 suicide of his partner. Prosecutors say that the 34-year-old man drove the woman to kill herself after approximately a decade of physical and emotional abuse.

This particular charge doesn't require prosecutors to prove that the accused intended to kill the victim. It requires, however, that the person did something that would likely result in a person's death and whose actions showed a disregard for human life.

The 28-year-old Minnesota woman who killed herself, according to authorities, had been hospitalized three times as a result of her partner's abuse. However, a social worker said that she feared losing custody of her children if she stayed in the hospital for long. Her suicide came just days after she was released from her last hospital stay.

The woman reportedly suffered head trauma at the hands of her partner from being thrown against a wall and against a washing machine. She reportedly had told police that, despite a court order, her partner continued to text and call her and that it was affecting her mental health. According to the local prosecutor, the defendant "was clearly aware of the precarious state of his partner's emotions following her hospitalizations and he continued the relentless contacts until her death."

Although one advocate for victims of domestic violence says that this is the first case she's aware of where an alleged abuser has been charged with murder for someone's suicide, a link between domestic violence and suicide has been found.

While some legal experts question whether a person should be held accountable for the suicide of another person, the concept is not without precedent. These cases, however, involved children and teens who were reportedly bullied so badly that they took their own lives.

One law professor noted that while it's not uncommon to find that a person who committed suicide had been mistreated or abused by someone, linking that abuse directly to the person's death is another matter.

While this is a unique case, any charge of domestic violence needs to be taken seriously. Anyone who has been charged with this type of crime should seek legal guidance from a Nevada attorney to help ensure that his or her rights are protected.

Source: Huffington Post, "Man Charged With Murder For Allegedly Driving His Partner To Suicide," Melissa Jeltsen, June 23, 2016

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