How Can A Lookout Be Guilty Of Murder? Conspiracy and Accomplice Liability
Three people agree to rob a bank in Raleigh, North Carolina. The driver drops off the lookout at the street corner, drops off the gunman at the bank, and waits outside the bank. The gunman enters the bank, shoots the guard, robs the bank, and runs to the get away car. The driver and gunman speed away through Wake County, pick up the lookout and all three escape to split the loot.
Even though the driver and lookout never entered the bank, they are both guilty of bank robbery because they each knowingly helped the gunman rob the bank. If the guard dies, all three are guilty of murder because each of them knew or should have reasonably known that the gunman might shoot and kill someone during the bank robbery.
A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit a crime. The Raleigh court uses a ‚ foreseeability‚ test to determine whether the driver and lookout should have ‚ foreseen‚ what the gunman might do and ‚ foreseen‚ the possible consequences of the gunman's actions.
Since the driver and lookout knew the gunman had a gun, shooting and killing the guard are easily ‚ foreseeable‚ by the court. Consequently, all three can be convicted of murder. Even if the conspirators agreed not to carry guns, the Raleigh court often concludes that injury and death are foreseeable results of the bank robbery. It is foreseeable that the bank robber may try to disarm the guard, which may result in someone being shot or killed.
Wake County court applies the same ‚ foreseeability‚ test to drug offenses. If a person knowingly transports ‚ some‚ drugs, the court will hold the defendant responsible for all the drugs transported even though the defendant did not know the type and quantity of drug. While transporting an ounce of marijuana may result in misdemeanor conviction without jail time, transporting an ounce of heroin may result in a felony conviction and a 225-month mandatory minimum sentence.
The court holds defendant's responsible for the ‚ foreseeable‚ results of their criminal activity. The court interprets ‚ foreseeability‚ very broadly. Even the lookout who never enters the bank can be convicted of murder and the drug courier who transports an unknown quantity of cocaine can be convicted of drug trafficking. Each conspirator is responsible for the ‚ foreseeable‚ actions of his co-conspirators.
5 Rules to Follow When an Officer Approaches You.
1. Say, ‚ CAN I LEAVE?‚ If the officer says yes, then GO.
2. DO NOT talk to the officer.
You may give him your name, address, telephone number and date of birth only.
3. Say ‚ I WANT TO SPEAK TO A LAWYER‚ to stop the officer from questioning you.
4. DO NOT consent when the officer asks you for permission to search your property.
5. Hire an Attorney who SPECIALIZES in criminal defense. Call your Raleigh Criminal Lawyer!
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