Felonies | Conspiracy

1997 Bar Exam Question

A had a grudge against F. Deciding to kill F, A and his friends, B, C, and D, armed  themselves with knives and proceeded to the house of F, taking a taxicab for the purpose.

About 20 meters from their destination, the group alighted and after instructing E, the driver, to wait, traveled on foot to the house of F.

B, positioned himself at a distance as the group's lookout. C and D stood guard outside the house. Before A could enter the house, D left the scene without the knowledge of the others.

A stealthily entered the house and stabbed F. F ran to the street but was blocked by C, forcing him to flee towards another direction. Immediately after, A had stabbed F, A also stabbed G who was visiting F.

Thereafter, A exited from the house and together with B and C, returned to the waiting taxicab and motored away.

G died. F survived.

Who are liable for the death of G and physical injuries of F?

A alone is liable for the death of G. The object of the conspiracy of A, B, C, and D was to kill F only. Since B, C, and D did not know of the stabbing of G by A, they can not be criminally held liable therefor.

E, the driver cannot be also held liable for the death of G since the former was completely unaware of the said killing.

For the physical injuries of F, A, B, and C should be held liable therefor. Even if it was only A who actually stabbed and caused physical injuries to G, B and C are nonetheless liable for conspiring with A and for contributing positive acts which led to the  realization of a common criminal intent.

B positioned himself as a lookout, while C blocked F's escape. D, however, although part of the conspiracy, cannot be held liable because he left the scene before A could enter the house where the stabbing occurred. Although he was earlier part of the conspiracy, he did not personally participate in the execution of the crime by acts which directly  tended towards the same end. (People vs. Tomoro, et al 44 Phil. 38)

In the same breath, E, the driver, cannot be also held liable for the infliction of physical injuries upon F because there is no showing that he had knowledge of the plan to kill F.