First Degree Murder Cases in California
In People v. Durham (1969) 70 Cal.2d 171, the California Supreme Court upheld the first degree murder conviction of a defendant who aided and abetted "forcible resistance of arrest" (id. at p. 181) on the grounds that he and the shooter "had been engaged in a joint expedition which involved the commission of robberies . . . and which included . . . the forcible resistance to arrest; that the defendant was fully aware . . . that the shooter had exhibited his pistol in the commission of the robberies and had actually fired it at one who had sought to apprehend them in the act of escaping; . . . that defendant knew that the shooter was armed when they were stopped by the victim police officer." (Durham, p. 185.)
In People v. Wheaton (1923) 64 Cal.App. 58, 66-68 cited with approval in Durham, the appellate court upheld the first degree murder conviction of the defendant where five men set out to commit burglaries, all were armed except the defendant and one of defendant's companions killed a police officer who was attempting to apprehend them.
In People v. Harper (1945) 25 Cal.2d 862, the California Supreme Court upheld the first degree murder conviction of the defendant who aided and abetted a robbery and escape, where the codefendant returned to the scene of the robbery and killed the victim.
Convictions for attempted premeditated and deliberate murder have been upheld where the defendant aided and abetted attempted robberies (People v. Hart (2009) 176 Cal.App.4th 662) and a battery (People v. Montano (1979) 96 Cal.App.3d 221).