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Man Unknowingly Drives Elderly Woman to Rob Bank

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By Laura Strachan, Esq. on December 28, 2010 9:15 AM

Here's a story of a Good Samaritan with a twist.

A 26-year-old man picked up an elderly woman and gave her a ride to the bank. The 70-year-old woman seemed both grateful and in need of the transportation for what he believed was an errand to pick up money to pay her rent to his mother who happens to be her landlord.

While it is true that she went into the bank to withdraw money, the money was not her. Telling the teller that she had a gun (in reality, it was a hammer), the elderly woman took $3,700 from the bank, got in the car and the man drove away not knowing of the circumstances of the unusual transaction, according to MSNBC.

Ultimately, police were called and the man and the woman were apprehended. While ignorance of the law is not a viable legal excuse, not knowing one is participating in a crime certainly is.

Under normal circumstances, serving as a getaway driver would be a type of accomplice liability. However, in order to satisfy the requisite elements for such a charge, the defendant must have a certain mental intent and awareness of his part in a crime.

Here, it is easy to see how the man helped serve as an accomplice in that his services as a driver aided the crime. He will not be charged with anything, though. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this case is that the elderly woman, now homeless from not paying rent, asked to stay in jail.

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