The Appellate Group

State v. Eyre

State v. Eyre, 2021 UT 45 (Himonas, J.)

Criminal Law

Defendant was convicted as an accomplice. He appealed, arguing that the jury instruction setting forth the elements of the offense failed to make clear the mens rea required for the underlying criminal act. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction. On certiorari, The Utah Supreme Court reversed:

  • OF NOTE: Accomplice liability requires a showing of at least two culpable mental states: (1) that the defendant possessed the requisite mens rea for the underlying offense, and (2) that the defendant intentionally aided or abetted. Here, the mens rea instruction was erroneous, the surrounding instructions created further confusion, and counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to object.

Read the full court opinion