The act of a detective may, perhaps, be not imputable to the defendant, as there is a want of community of motive. The one has a criminal intent, while the other is seeking the discovery and punishment of crime.
Defendant approached a shop owner's stepson and suggested they steal from the shop. The shop owner's stepson advised the local authorities of the plan, and when they broke into the shop the shop owner's stepson actually entered the shop after breaking a window latch and handed defendant some merchandise, and the authorities who were laying in wait arrested defendant. The Circuit Court convicted defendant for burglary and larceny. Defendant appealed his conviction and the court reversed.
Was there felonious intent on the part of defendant?
The court held that the jury should have been instructed that if the stepson had entered into the shop without criminal intent the defendant could not be guilty of burglary -- an inchoate offense -- and grand larceny because defendant could not be guilty of aiding and abetting the offenses if the stepson did not have criminal intent when he performed the act.