CHARGE # ONE - Where defendant is charged as accomplice and jury does not receive instruction on lesser included charges.
The indictment charges/or the State alleges1 that the defendant is legally responsible for the criminal conduct of X2, in violation of a law which reads in pertinent part as follows:
A person is guilty of an offense if it is committed by his own conduct or the conduct of another person for which he is legally accountable, or both.
A person is legally accountable for the conduct of another person when he/she is an accomplice of such other person in the commission of an offense.
A person is an accomplice of another person in the commission of an offense if, with the purpose of promoting or facilitating the commission of the offense, he/she (a) solicits such other person to commit it and/or (b) aids or agrees or attempts to aid such other person in planning or committing it.
This provision of the law means that not only is the person who actually commits the criminal act responsible for it but one who is legally accountable as an accomplice is also responsible as if he/she committed the crime(s) himself/herself.
In this case, the State alleges that the defendant is guilty of the crime(s) committed by X because he/she acted as his/her accomplice. In order to find the defendant guilty, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt each of the following elements:
1. That X committed the crime(s) of ___________________. I will now explain the elements of this/these offense(s).
2. That this defendant solicited him/her to commit it/them and/or did aid or agree or attempt to aid him/her in planning or committing it/them.
3. That this defendant’s purpose was to promote or facilitate the commission of the offense(s).
4. That this defendant possessed the criminal state of mind that is required to be proved against the person who actually committed the act.
Remember that one acts purposely with respect to his/her conduct or a result thereof if it is his/her conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such a result.
“Solicit” means to strongly urge, suggest, lure or proposition. “Aid” means to assist, support or supplement the efforts of another. “Agrees to aid” means to encourage by promise of assistance or support. “Attempt to aid” means that a person takes substantial steps in a course of conduct designed to or planned to lend support or assistance in the efforts of another to cause the commission of a substantive offense.
If you find that the defendant, with the purpose of promoting or facilitating the commission of the offense(s), solicited X to commit it/them and/or aided or agreed or attempted to aid him/her in planning or committing it/them, then you should consider him/her as if he/she committed the crime(s) himself/herself. (If more than one offense is charged, instruct jury that accomplice status should be considered separately as to each charge).
To prove the defendant’s criminal liability, the State does not have to prove his/her accomplice status by direct evidence of a formal plan to commit a crime. There does not have to be verbal agreement by all who are charged. The proof may be circumstantial. Participation and agreement can be established from conduct as well as the spoken words.