Court Finds Sufficient Evidence that Defendant Encouraged Shooter


Case: People v. Jones

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )

Issues:

Aiding & abetting; MCL 767.39; People v. Robinson; Principle that the second element of aiding & abetting includes any type of assistance given to the perpetrator of a crime by words or deeds that are intended to encourage, support, or incite the commission of the crime; People v. Palmer; Mere presence even with knowledge that an offense will be committed; People v. Wilson; Inferring an aider & abettor’s mental state from all the facts & circumstances surrounding an event; People v. Carines; A criminal defendant’s right to be tried by an impartial jury drawn from a fair cross section of the community; People v. Bryant; Ineffective assistance of counsel; People v. Armstrong; People v. Hoag; Failure to make a meritless objection; People v. Fike

Summary:

The court held that there was sufficient evidence to support defendant’s conviction of first-degree premeditated murder based on an aiding and abetting theory. The trial court sentenced him as a second-offense habitual offender to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. On appeal, the court rejected his argument that the prosecution failed to present evidence sufficient for the jury to find the second and third elements of aiding and abetting. As to the second element, it found that the testimony of E and C, who were in the car with defendant and the shooter, “identified acts and statements by defendant that a rational trier of fact could have found beyond a reasonable doubt assisted or encouraged” the shooter in the commission of the crime. As to the third element, it found that “a rational trier of fact could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant either intended the murder” or knew of the shooter’s “intent at the time he provided aid and encouragement.” The court also rejected the arguments in his Standard IV brief as meritless. Affirmed.

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