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Riley v. State

Court of Appeals of Alaska
60 P.3d 204 (2002)


Facts

Richard Riley (defendant) and Edward Portalla fired gunshots into a crowd of people at a bonfire. They seriously wounded two of the people. Both Riley and Portalla were charged with two counts of first-degree assault, a crime that requires one to recklessly cause a serious physical injury to another through the use of a dangerous weapon. At trial, the State was unable to determine which of the defendants’ weapons wounded the two victims. The jurors were instructed that they could find Riley guilty as charged if they either found Riley was the principal who fired the wounding shot or if he was an accomplice who aided and abetted Portalla. Riley was found guilty as an accomplice on both assault charges. Riley argues on appeal that the jury instructions on accomplice liability were flawed because it failed to require evidence that Riley aided and abetted with the intention of having Portalla inflict serious physical injury.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Mannheimer, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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