Those elements of aiding and abetting are: (1) the underlying crime was committed by either the defendant or some other person, (2) the defendant performed acts or gave encouragement which aided and assisted the commission of the crime, and (3) the defendant intended the commission of the crime or had knowledge that the principal intended its commission at the time of giving aid or encouragement.
An undercover agent met with defendant at a hotel and proposed that if defendant gave him $ 10,000 toward the purchase of a kilogram of cocaine, the agent claimed that he would then sell the cocaine, and give defendant the $ 10,000, plus $ 3,500 in profits and a client list. Defendant accepted the proposal and later returned with the $ 10,000. After defendant left, the police agent turned the money over to the state police, and defendant was subsequently arrested. Defendant was charged with attempted possession with intent to deliver 650 grams or more of cocaine. The trial court dismissed the charge and the State appealed. The circuit court affirmed the dismissal. The court affirmed the dismissal of the charge.
Did the court err in dismissing the charges against defendant?
The court found that while the conviction of a principal was not necessary to the conviction of defendant, the State was required to show that someone committed the underlying crime. The court concluded the absence of that element made it legally impossible for defendant to have committed any offense.