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Law School Case Brief

Commonwealth v. Azim - 313 Pa. Super. 310, 459 A.2d 1244 (1983)


Among those circumstances relevant to proving conspiracy are association with alleged conspirators, knowledge of the commission of the crime, presence at the scene of the crime, and, at times, participation in the object of the conspiracy. Conspiracy to commit burglary has been found where the defendant drove codefendants to the scene of a crime and then later picked them up. Thus, the driver of a "get away" car can be found guilty as an accomplice if it is reasonable to infer that he was aware of the actual perpetrator's intention. His agreement to effectuate the escape aids the perpetrator in the planning and commission of the actual crime


Defendant Charles Azim was arrested, along with Mylice James and Thomas Robinson, for simple assault, robbery, and conspiracy. The victim of the robbery was Jerry Tennenbaum, a Temple University student. Appellant drove a car in which the other two men were passengers. Azim stopped the car, Robinson called Tennenbaum over to the curb, the two passengers got out of the car, inflicted bodily injury on Tennenbaum, took his wallet which had fallen to the ground, and immediately left the scene in the same car driven by Azim. Robinson and Azim were tried to a jury in a Pennsylvania state court and, ultimately, were convicted of criminal conspiracy and robbery. Azim appealed, seeking dismissal of all the charges brought against him, or in the alternative, for a new trial on a lesser charge of robbery and the vacating of the conspiracy sentence.


Did sufficient evidence support Azim's conviction for criminal conspiracy?




On appeal, the court affirmed Azim's conviction criminal conspiracy, holding that a rational factfinder could find, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Azim conspired with James and Robinson to commit assault and robbery on Tennenbaum, the victim. The court noted, however, that co-conspirator Robinson's direct appeal resulted in the grant of a new trial on the assault and robbery charges, and thus the court agreed with the trial court that it is appropriate for Azim to be afforded the same relief. The court therefore vacated the judgment of sentence is vacated and remanded the case for a new trial on the charges of assault and robbery, and for resentencing on the conviction for conspiracy, following the outcome of the new trial.

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