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Washington v. Bradford

April 15, 1991


Scholfield, J. By separate opinions, Pekelis, J., concurs in the result and Forrest, J., concurs. Scholfield, J., concurs with Forrest, J.

Author: Scholfield

John L. Bradford appeals his convictions for possession of a controlled substance (count 1) and for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (count 2). We affirm.


On December 19, 1988, Bradford was charged by amended information with possessing cocaine on or about October 24, 1988 (count 1); he was also charged with possessing cocaine with the intent to manufacture or deliver on or about September 3, 1988 (count 2). The circumstances concerning his arrests for these crimes were as follows:

On September 3, 1988, at approximately 12:30 p.m., Seattle police officers served a search warrant on a residence located at 3245 S. Juneau Street in Seattle. The officers watched the residence for approximately 1 hour prior to obtaining the warrant. During that time, they observed at least eight or nine vehicles arrive and depart from the residence within 10 minutes. The officers saw at least six people enter the house and leave within a minute of arriving. The search warrant, served that same evening, directed the officers to search for a black male, approximately age 50, with the first name of "John". They were also to search for narcotics, drug paraphernalia, money, and papers relating to dominion and control.

The officers found Bradford in the living room and two small children asleep in one of the bedrooms. They also found a baby food jar in boiling water on top of the stove in the kitchen. The contents of the jar was later tested and found to contain cocaine. The officers also found a pillowcase with a container of rock cocaine inside it and a loaded revolver in one of the bedrooms, a scale with cocaine residue on it, three meat containers with cocaine powder in them, and $576 in United States currency. In addition, the officers found items of drug paraphernalia, several receipts, and a Seattle City Light bill showing Bradford's name and the S. Juneau Street address.

On October 24, 1988, Seattle police officers again served a narcotics search warrant at 3245 S. Juneau Street in Seattle. The warrant directed the officers to search for narcotics, paraphernalia, papers showing dominion and control, firearms, and an individual named "Carol."

Because the officers heard the sounds of people running and glass breaking after the officers knocked, they forced the door with a battering ram. Five adults were found in the residence: three, including Bradford, in a bedroom, and two in the kitchen. Bradford was in bed when he was found, clad only in his underwear. Officers also found papers of dominion and control on the nightstand next to the bed and a loaded handgun in the bedroom under the bed.

A search of the kitchen area, where the two other adults were, yielded a semiautomatic handgun, and a jar containing cocaine being cooked on the stove. The officers also found some powdered cocaine on the kitchen table, a broken glass vial, and a metal pipe with narcotics residue. On the kitchen counter, they found a broken glass vial and more rock cocaine. The officers found two envelopes and a telephone bill for the S. Juneau residence addressed to Bradford at that address. These items were found near the nightstand in the bedroom where Bradford was located.

Prior to trial, Bradford moved to sever the two counts, claiming potential prejudice, since one charge was for simple possession, while the other charge was for possession with intent to deliver. The trial court denied the motion.

The trial court's instructions included instruction 5, which read as follows:

A separate crime is charged in each count. You must decide each count separately. Your verdict on one count should not control your verdict on any other count.

During deliberations, the jury submitted in writing the following question to the trial court:

Can the jury consider knowledge gained from one count when deliberating on the other count[?] We are speaking of knowledge only, not evidence.

The trial court's response to the jury inquiry read as follows:

The jury is free to determine the use to which it will put evidence presented during trial.

Defense counsel objected to this response from the trial court and moved that the court should instruct the jury to follow instruction 5 and instruct the jury that evidence relative to each count should be considered separately from the other count.

The jury found Bradford guilty on both counts. Bradford was sentenced concurrently to 2 months on count 1 and 15 months on count 2, both minimum ...

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