Superior Court of Kitsap County. Superior Court Docket No. 91-1-00824-6. Date Filed in Superior Court: 9-1-92. Superior Court Judge Signing: Karen B. Conoley.
Chief Judge Karen G. Seinfeld; Judge Elaine M. Houghton, Judge Edward L. Fleisher, concur
SEINFELD, C.J. -- The State tried Orlandis Donte Campbell with fellow youth gang member, Eugene Youngblood, for two counts of first degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit first degree premeditated murder of rival gang members. The jury convicted Campbell as charged. Campbell's 121 assignments of error include challenges to the admission of evidence about Campbell's gang activities and of expert testimony about the customs and conduct of gang members, and the denial of his motions to sever, for a continuance, and for a mistrial based upon prosecutorial misconduct. We conclude that the trial court found a sufficient nexus between gang affiliation and the homicides to justify the admission of the gang culture evidence. We further conclude that the trial court properly exercised its discretion in all its rulings. Thus, we affirm.
Orlandis Dante Campbell was a self-proclaimed member of the Los Angeles Santana Blocc Crips gang and in the business of selling crack cocaine. Lewis Davis's apartment in Bremerton was one of Campbell's sales locations.
Tyrone Darcheville and Arthur Lewis Randall, the murder victims, were Bremerton teenagers affiliated with a local gang, the Acacia Blocc Crips. They also sold crack cocaine at Lewis Davis's apartment.
Campbell was friendly with Darcheville and Randall until late 1991, at which time the relationship soured and
Campbell began threatening to jack*fn1, check*fn2, and kill the two youths. Around the same time, Campbell began to associate with Ernest Bailey and Eugene Youngblood. Both Bailey and Youngblood were from Los Angeles and were members of a Los Angeles gang, the Mansfield Gangsters Crips. Bailey and Youngblood looked down on the Bremerton Crips, calling them wannabes and punks. Campbell came to join in these sentiments.
Campbell, Bailey, and Youngblood began selling crack cocaine together from hotel rooms and from Lewis Davis's apartment. Their customers included many of the people to whom Darcheville and Randall sold. But many of their customers considered Darcheville and Randall's crack to be of a higher quality.
During the second or third week of December 1991, Darcheville confronted Campbell and Bailey, telling them that they had no right to sell crack out of Lewis's apartment. Campbell and Bailey believed that Darcheville was "out of pocket" and needed to be disciplined.
On December 19, the night before the murders, witnesses observed Campbell, Bailey, and Youngblood at a Tacoma apartment selecting dark colored clothing items. Bailey, who had a gun and was collecting bullets, said that he was going to "gat someone".*fn3 Witnesses also overheard the threesome talking about fixing the wannabes that evening.
On December 20, Campbell and Bailey, dressed in dark clothes, met Darcheville and Randall at about 6 p.m. at an acquaintance's house. The group left the house together at about 6:40. Randall indicated that he would be back in 15 minutes. About 30 minutes later, witnesses found Darcheville's and Randall's bodies. Both had sustained multiple, fatal gunshot wounds.
Neighbors reported hearing noises consistent with gunshots between 6:55 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. One neighbor saw four or five individuals talking loudly outside the residence shortly before shots were fired; another neighbor saw three darkly clad individuals milling about in the street immediately after the shots were fired.
Campbell, Bailey, and Youngblood, all dressed in black, next appeared at Davis's apartment. Davis's sister heard either Campbell or Youngblood say, "I told you we were going to get those mother fuckers. I told you we was the baddest ones in Bremerton." Shortly thereafter, Campbell indicated that he was leaving for California that night. The three men left together, and were stopped by an Oregon deputy sheriff for speeding early the following morning. Bailey was driving Youngblood's Buick Regal.
On December 27, 1991, the State filed its information, charging Campbell and Bailey with two counts of first degree murder by two means: premeditation and felony murder predicated on robbery. The police arrested Campbell for the murders on March 6. In a post-arrest statement Campbell admitted knowing Bailey, Darcheville, and Randall, but denied any involvement in the murders. However, while in jail, Campbell admitted to another inmate that he had shot Darcheville and Randall in the head and the chest.
On March 9, 1992, the State amended the information to include a count of conspiracy to commit first degree premeditated murder. On the first day of pre-trial proceedings, March 17, the State moved to join Campbell's case with Youngblood's. The court granted the motion and ordered trial to commence on May 4, 1992. Pretrial hearings continued past the set trial date. The State did not present testimony until May 27.
Pretrial proceedings included lengthy motions in limine regarding the admission of evidence of the defendants' prior bad acts and of expert testimony on gang behavior. The State sought to introduce this evidence to prove a ...