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Showing posts from November, 2013

Two Complainants + One Charge = Unanimity Instruction

State v. Getz (HSC November 8, 2013) Background. Chad Getz was charged with a single count of robbery in the second degree. The charging document alleged that Getz used force against “Angela Rueber and/or Jessie Saffery” and had the “intent to overcome Angela Rueber’s and/or Jessie Saffery’s physical resistance.” At his jury trial, two witnesses testified for the prosecution. Rueber and Saffery were loss prevention personnel at Nordstrum. One night, they saw on the surveillance cameras, Getz walk into the store with an Old Navy bag, take a coach purse and walk out of the “handbag department.” Rueber left the office to confront Getz and remained in contact with Saffery by radio. Rueber saw Getz walking toward the exit doors of Nordstrum. Rueber and a salesperson pursued him. Saffery saw what was happening on the video cameras and went to help Rueber and the salesperson. Getz left the store, and was walking toward a stairwell.
Rueber followed him and identified herself. She also ordered h…

Waiving your Rights is Tougher than you Think

State v. Gomez-Lobato (HSC October 30, 2013) Background. Luis Gomez-Lobato was charged with a single count of abuse of a family or household member. At his arraignment, Gomez-Lobato was represented by a lawyer and had the assistance of a Spanish interpreter. Gomez-Lobato pleaded not guilty. Counsel requested a recess in order to go over the jury waiver form with the interpreter. After a recess, the family court had a colloquy with Gomez-Lobato through the interpreter. The family court received the form and asked if the initials on it were his? He said yes. The family court asked if he understood what he was doing and signing before initialing the form? He said yes. The family court asked if the form was explained to him in Spanish? Yes. The family court inquired if he discussed this with his attorney. Yes. And Gomez-Lobato had no questions for the judge. Based on those answers, the family court concluded that Gomez-Lobato knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waived his right to a …

The Raw Materials of a Defense

State v. Scott (HSC October 16, 2013) Background. Kevin Scott and his brother Jefferson Scott were indicted separately out of the same incident involving Leif Martin and Kerry Martin. Jefferson Scott was indicted first and convicted of some of the offenses. Months later, Kevin was indicted for committing assault in the second degree upon Leif, two counts of terroristic threatening in the first upon Leif and Kerry and one count of terroristic threatening in the first degree by a common scheme. Kevin demanded a jury trial.
Scott Requests Transcripts, Audio, and Video Records from his Brother’s Trial . . . Before trial, the prosecution filed notice of its intention to use evidence that Jefferson assisted Kevin after Kevin got into a dispute with the Martins. Kevin filed a motion to continue the trial on the grounds that he needed more time to get transcripts from Jefferson’s trial. The transcripts would assist him in his defense. Kevin’s counsel explained that the reason for not getting th…