Appeal from the District Court for Lancaster County: Earl J. Witthoff, Judge.
Sievers, Chief Judge, and Connolly and Hannon, Judges.
1. Convictions: Appeal and Error. In determining whether evidence is sufficient to sustain a conviction in a bench trial, an appellate court does not resolve conflicts in evidence or reweigh evidence presented, which are within a fact finder's province for Disposition.
2. Convictions: Appeal and Error. A conviction in a bench trial of a criminal case is sustained if the evidence, viewed and construed most favorably to the State, is sufficient to support that conviction. The trial court's findings have the effect of a verdict and will not be set aside unless clearly erroneous.
3. Aiding and Abetting. A person who aids, abets, procures, or causes another to commit any offense may be prosecuted and punished as if he were the principal offender.
4. Convictions: Aiding and Abetting. The conviction of the principal is not necessary for conviction of an aider and abettor.
5. Verdicts: Appeal and Error. On a claim of insufficiency of the evidence, an appellate court will not set aside a guilty verdict in a criminal case where such verdict is supported by relevant evidence; only where such evidence lacks sufficient probative force as a matter of law may an appellate court set aside a guilty verdict as unsupported by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.
6. Homicide: Intent. The essential elements in the crime of murder in the second degree are that the killing be done purposely and maliciously.
7. Intent: Words and Phrases. Malice is defined as that condition of the mind which is manifested by the intentional doing of a wrongful act without just cause or excuse.
8. Intent: Weapons. Intent to kill may be inferred from deliberate use of a deadly weapon in a manner reasonably likely to cause death.
9. : Aiding and Abetting: Intent: Proof. Where a crime requires the existence of a particular intent, an alleged aider or abettor cannot be held criminally liable as a principal unless it is shown that the aider knew that the perpetrator of the act had the required intent, or that the aider himself possessed the required intent.
10. : Aiding and Abetting. One who intentionally aids and abets the commission of a crime may be responsible not only for the intended crime, if it is in fact committed, but also for other crimes which are committed as a natural and probable consequence of the intended criminal act.
11. : Trial: Judges. A trial Judge sitting without a jury is not required to articulate findings of fact or Conclusions of law in criminal cases.
12. Sentences: Appeal and Error. An appellate court will not disturb a sentence that falls within statutory limits unless the sentence constitutes an abuse of discretion.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sievers
Anthony L. Cates was charged with the first degree murder of Deron Haynes. Following a bench trial, Cates was convicted of second degree murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony. Cates was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 10 nor more than 20 years on the second degree murder charge, with credit for 381 days served, and 3 to 4 years on the weapons ...