Monday, April 03, 2006

Aiding and Abetting Use of a Gun

United States v. Todd Andrews, No. 05-1974 (March 30, 2006): Mr. Andrews was convicted of bank robbery and use of a firearm during a crime of violence. Both convictions rested on a theory of aiding and abetting. By his own statements to law enforcement, he agreed to loan his auto and his shoes to the robbers, knowing they were planning to rob a credit union (the opinion does not reveal why there was a need to borrow his shoes). He also knew that the robbers had guns. Other than loaning these two items to the robbers, he did not participate in the robbery. He argued that the district court should have granted his Rule 29 motion on the gun count.

The Court acknowledged that a defendant must intentionally facilitate the possession of the weapon; merely aiding a crime and knowing that the principal has a gun is not enough to aid the use of a firearm. In upholding the conviction, the Court emphasized Mr. Andrews' knowledge that the robbers had guns, yet it presented little analysis of what he did to facilitate their use of the guns.