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Friday, October 31, 2008

09-18-08 State of New Jersey v. Quadir Whitaker

Defendant was convicted under the principle of accomplice
liability, N.J.S.A. 2C:2-6b(3), of having committed the crimes
of first-degree robbery and felony murder. The question
presented on appeal is whether a defendant charged as an
accomplice may be found guilty of robbery by uttering an
instruction to the principal, during the immediate flight from
an attempted theft, to hide the weapon used during the attempted
theft, after all necessary elements of the crime of robbery have
We answered the question in the negative. We held that the
phrase contained in the robbery statute, "[a]n act shall be
deemed to be included in the phrase 'in the course of committing
a theft'" N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1a, refers only to those acts set forth
in sections a(1), (2), and (3) of the statute which elevate
simple theft, or attempted theft, to the crime of robbery. We
determined that the phrase does not encompass other acts
committed by an alleged accomplice after all elements necessary
to constitute the crime of robbery had concluded. Lastly, to
the extent that State v. Williams, 232 N.J. Super. 432 (App.
Div.), certif. denied, 118 N.J. 208 (1989) and State v. Baker,
303 N.J. Super. 411 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 151 N.J. 470
(1997) hold to the contrary, we disagreed