Initially, a defendant must have been acting with the kind of culpability otherwise required for the commission of the crime he is charged with attempting. Then, the defendant must have engaged in conduct that constitutes a substantial step toward commission of the crime, conduct strongly displaying the defendant's criminal intent.
Defendants were convicted of conspiracy to commit an armed robbery, two counts of attempted robbery, and possession of unregistered sawed-off shotguns. Defendants sought review of the attempted robbery convictions on the basis that they did not cross the line which separated mere preparation from attempt. The court affirmed the convictions.
Was defendant's criminal intent substantiated by sufficient evidence?
The trial judge had properly concluded that defendants had intended to execute a successful bank robbery and taken substantial steps in furtherance of their plan when they reconnoitered the bank and possessed the paraphernalia to be used in commission of the crime on two separate occasions. The court found that there were numerous other elements that strongly corroborated the firmness of defendants' criminal intent and therefore the trial judge did not err when he found defendants had taken substantial steps toward completion of the crime.