In Indiana, a defendant can be guilty of conspiracy to commit murder absent a mutual “conspiracy agreement” with another co-conspirator, so long as the defendant intends to commit the crime.
The defendant was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder. The defendant contacted a friend to tell him about the marital problems she was having, and informed him of her plan to pay someone to kill her husband. The defendant’s friend went to the police department and notified two officers about the conversation he had with the defendant. He then offered to call the defendant and have the police listen into their conversation, which they did on several occasions. Each time, the defendant reaffirmed her desire to have her husband killed. Eventually, the friend introduced the defendant to a detective dressed in plain clothes disguised as the man he had found to kill her husband. After the defendant paid the detective and gave a description of her husband, she was subsequently arrested.
In Indiana, can a defendant be guilty of a conspiracy to commit murder absent a mutual “conspiracy agreement” with a co-conspirator?
The Indiana conspiracy statute holds that a defendant is guilty of a conspiracy to commit a felony when she “agrees with another person” to commit the felony. The word “agree” in this context does not require there to have been a mutual “meeting of the minds” or “contract” between two co-conspirators. Rather, “agree” is descriptive of the defendant’s state of mind at the time she communicated with another person in furtherance of the felony. Even though the defendant’s friend turned out to be a police informant who did not actually intend to commit the murder, the defendant thought she was conspiring with him to commit murder and thus had the intent.