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Washington v. Vailencour

filed: April 22, 1996.

STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT,
v.
RONALD JOSEPH VAILENCOUR, APPELLANT.



Superior Court County: King. Superior Court Cause No: 93-1-04035-7SEA. Date filed in Superior Court: August 5, 1994. Superior Court Judge Signing: Judge Norma Huggins.

Written by: Judge Baker, Concurred by: Judges Kennedy, Cox

Author: Baker

BAKER, C.J. - Ronald Vailencour appeals his conviction for third degree assault. He seeks reversal based on violation of the speedy trial rule, arguing that the court erred by assigning a constructive arraignment date approximately

five months after the State filed charges against him.

We hold that the State's failure to send notice of arraignment to Vailencour at an address provided to the police by Vailencour's sister does not warrant reversal. No prejudice resulted to Vailencour, because the address was not correct, and he would not have received notice of the charges against him even if the State had sent the notice to that address. Vailencour also asks this court to reverse his conviction because findings and conclusions were not entered following his bench trial. Findings have since been entered without prejudice to Vailencour. Finding no merit to either of Vailencour's arguments, we affirm.

FACTS

After Vailencour exited a store with apparently stolen merchandise, two security guards followed him into the parking lot and attempted to arrest him. Vailencour escaped after threatening one of the guards with a knife. When Vailencour returned later to retrieve his car, a security guard noted his license plate number. The police contacted the registered owner of the car, who stated she had recently sold the car to Vailencour (her brother). She gave an address for Vailencour which, as Vailencour later testified, was not correct.

The State filed charges of third degree theft and third degree assault on June 22, 1993. The prosecutor's office mailed notice of arraignment to Vailencour at his current and previous addresses registered with the Department of Licensing (DOL). The current address was also his mother's current address. Both notices were returned as undeliverable. Vailencour did not appear at the June 30 arraignment, and the court issued a warrant for his arrest. The warrant was transmitted to the city and county of his last known address with DOL (his mother's address).

Vailencour did not live at any of the addresses obtained

by the prosecutor, nor had he given any forwarding information to the post office. However, he received most of his mail through his mother's address.

Vailencour was stopped for a traffic violation on October 30, but was not arrested. Vailencour changed his address with DOL in November. He was stopped again in December and this ...


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