Colorado v. ChildressAnnotate this Case
The State appealed an appellate court's judgment that vacated respondent Kenneth Childress' conviction of vehicular assault while operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It was undisputed that Childress was not driving the vehicle in question, but the jury was instructed that he could be found guilty as a complicitor. The court of appeals concluded that because vehicular assault while under the influence was a strict liability offense, and required no culpable mental state on the part of the driver. Furthermore, the appellate court found that the Colorado Supreme Court had held previously that complicitor liability was inapplicable to crimes lacking a culpable mental state requirement. After review, the Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals, clarifying its holding that the appellate court relied on in vacating Childress' conviction.