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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says defendants have to know in advance that their accomplices would use or carry a gun while committing a crime in order to be convicted under federal gun laws.
The justices ruled Wednesday that the jury instructions given in Justus C. Rosemond's conviction were incorrect. Rosemond was one of five people participating in a drug deal gone bad in Tooele, Utah. During the incident, nine or 10 shots were fired and a car chase ensued. It was not clear who fired the weapon.
At trial, prosecutors told jurors that Rosemond could be convicted of "aiding and abetting" the crime if he merely knew his accomplice used a firearm. The court ordered federal appellate judges in Denver to take a fresh look at Rosemond's case .