Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, October 02, 2015

Maddox: Accomplice's gun use was reasonably foreseeable

In U.S. v. Maddox, No. 14-15064 (Sept. 30, 2015), the Court affirmed the imposition of sentence enhancements on a defendant convicted of aiding and abetting an attempted armed robbery in violation of the Hobbs Act, based on the brandishing of a firearm by an accomplice, and injury caused by this accomplice. The Court reasoned: “once one concludes that the defendant knew that [his accomplice] was armed with a gun, it makes perfect sense that he could also reasonably anticipate that [the accomplice] might well show that gun to the person whom he was trying to force to hand over the store’s money. After all, isn’t that the primary purpose of brining a gun to a robbery? As to the injuries suffered by the store manager, . . . the defendant could also reasonably anticipate that his admittedly erratic co-conspirator might well use that gun, in some way, on anyone who thwarted his efforts to obtain the sought-after money. Thus . . . the district court’s determination regarding the reasonable foreseeability of the above acts does not give rise to a definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been made.”