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What is murder with special circumstances?

Naomi Bell is being accused of shooting her two children Friday, killing one. She is being charged with murder with special circumstances.
Credit: FOX61

CONNECTICUT, USA — On November 13, officers arrived at a home on North Main St. to find two children, one 15-years-old and one seven-years-old, suffering from gunshot wounds. Both were taken to the hospital and the 15-year-old was later pronounced dead. 

Police have since charged the mother, 43-year-old Naomi Bell was charged with murder with special circumstances and  Criminal Attempt to Commit Murder with Special Circumstances. As of the time of this writing, her seven-year-old remains in critical condition. 

RELATED: Woman charged with shooting two children inside her Plymouth home

According to the Connecticut Penal Code, for a charge of murder with special circumstances to be applied, the offense must meet the following criteria : 

  1. Murder of a member of the Division of State Police within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection or of any local police department, a chief inspector or inspector in the Division of Criminal Justice, a state marshal who is exercising authority granted under any provision of the general statutes, a judicial marshal in performance of the duties of a judicial marshal, a constable who performs criminal law enforcement duties, a special policeman appointed under section 29-18, a conservation officer or special conservation officer appointed by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection under the provisions of section 26-5, an employee of the Department of Correction or a person providing services on behalf of said department when such employee or person is acting within the scope of such employee's or person's employment or duties in a correctional institution or facility and the actor is confined in such institution or facility, or any firefighter, while such victim was acting within the scope of such victim's duties
  2. murder committed by a defendant who is hired to commit the same for pecuniary gain or murder committed by one who is hired by the defendant to commit the same for pecuniary gain; 
  3. murder committed by one who has previously been convicted of intentional murder or of murder committed in the course of commission of a felony; 
  4. murder committed by one who was, at the time of commission of the murder, under sentence of life imprisonment; 
  5. murder by a kidnapper of a kidnapped person during the course of the kidnapping or before such person is able to return or be returned to safety; 
  6. murder committed in the course of the commission of sexual assault in the first degree; 
  7. murder of two or more persons at the same time or in the course of a single transaction; or 
  8. murder of a person under sixteen years of age.

Bell is being held on a $2.5 million bond and was arraigned in New Britain Superior Court on November 16th.  A memorial has been placed in front of the home to remember the 15-year-old that was killed. 

RELATED: Plymouth mom accused of shooting children appears in court

Below are some other notable cases of the suspect being charged with murder with special circumstances: