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People in the Interest of B.D.

2020 CO 87. No. 19SC396. Complicity—Sentence Enhancer— Statutory Interpretation—Due Process.

December 14, 2020


The Supreme Court reviewed the Court of Appeals’ judgment reversing defendant’s adjudication and sentence for theft from an at-risk person as a complicitor. The Supreme Court held that the requirement that a complicitor hold a dual mental state does not extend to sentence enhancers based on the nature of the offense. The dual mental state standard requires that the complicitor intended for the principal to complete the elements of the criminal offense and to have been aware of all the circumstances attending those elements. Based on the plain language of the at-risk victim provision here, the Court concluded that it is a sentence enhancer. Thus, liability for theft from an at-risk victim as a complicitor does not require that the complicitor was aware of the at-risk victim’s presence to trigger the sentence-enhancing provision.

Accordingly, the Court of Appeals’ judgment was reversed.

Official Colorado Supreme Court proceedings can be found at the Colorado Supreme Court website.

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