Depraved Indifference Murder by a Juvenile in New York

In People v. Roe, 74 N.Y.2d 20, 542 N.E.2d 610, 544 N.Y.S.2d 297 (1989), a 15 year-old juvenile offender was found guilty of depraved indifference murder. The defendant was a high school student with a detailed knowledge of weapons, who deliberately loaded a mix of "live" and "dummy" shells at random into the magazine of a 12-gauge shotgun, pumped a shell into the firing chamber not knowing whether it was a "dummy" or a "live" round, raised the shotgun and pointed it directly at the victim, announcing, "Let's play Polish roulette. Who is first?", and pulled the trigger discharging a "live" round which struck the victim at close range causing injuries that resulted in his death. It was the fact that the defendant did not care that death could result from his actions, not an actual intent to harm, that supported the depraved murder charge.