second degree murder

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

An unpremeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility. Second degree murder is different from first degree murder, which is a premeditated, intentional killing; or results from a vicious crime such as arson, rape, or armed robbery. Exact distinctions on degree vary by state.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.