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Friday, October 03, 2008

State v. Shariff Ingram

7-21-08 State v. Shariff Ingram (A-58/59-07)
When a defendant is charged as an accomplice and lesser-included
offenses already are charged in an indictment, the trial court
comprehensively must charge the jury on the elements both of the
lesser-included crimes and of accomplice liability.
Nevertheless, the failure to so separately charge the jury here
did not constitute reversible error. The prosecutor did not
misstate the applicability of the statutory affirmative defense
to felony murder. In these circumstances, it was error for the
trial court to instruct the jury that the defendant’s voluntary
absence from the trial could be construed by the jury as
evidence of consciousness of guilt, and that error mandates a
new trial.