Does Merely Associating With Gang Members Indicates Motive or Criminal Intent ?
In People v. Perez, 189 Ill. 2d 254, 244 Ill. Dec. 371, 725 N.E.2d 1258 (2000), the defendant argued that he did not share the criminal intent of the principal and that the evidence did not show that he was engaged in a common criminal design.
The court noted that defendant's association with members of the Gangster Disciples did not necessarily mean that defendant had the motive or criminal intent to harm the victim, a rival gang member.
Defendant's presence at the time of the shooting and his subsequent flight alone were insufficient to render him legally accountable.
As such, the court held that defendant did not share the criminal intent of the principal. Perez, slip op. at 10.