State v. Garnica

In State v. Garnica, 209 Ariz. 96, 99 n.4, P16, 98 P.3d 207, 210 n.4 (App. 2004), the Court addressed whether a person may be an accomplice to a crime that requires a mental state of only recklessness. The defendant in that case was convicted of reckless endangerment, second-degree murder and aggravated assault, each of which is premised on recklessness. Id. at 98, P11, 98 P.3d at 209. On appeal, he argued that the trial court erred in instructing the jury on accomplice liability because, he contended, the statutory definition of accomplice precludes accomplice liability for an "unintentional offense." After reviewing decisions from other jurisdictions, we found Alaska's treatment of this issue in Riley v. State, 60 P.3d 204 (Alaska App. 2002), to be both representative of the majority rule and persuasive. Garnica, 209 Ariz. at 100, P18, 98 P.3d at 211. The Court agreed with the Alaska court that it would be incongruous to permit a principal to be convicted based on proof of recklessness but to require proof of intentional conduct to convict an accomplice. Id. at 100-01, P20, 98 P.3d at 211-12. Like the Alaska court, the Court concluded that the "with the intent to promote or facilitate the commission of an offense" language in the definition of accomplice in A.R.S. 13-301 requires only proof of intent to promote or facilitate the conduct of another, rather than proof of intent to promote or facilitate some unintended result of the conduct. Id. at 101, P23, 98 P.3d 212. The Court observed that this construction is supported by A.R.S. 13-303(B). Id.