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State v. C.D.

November 9, 1996

STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT,
v.
C.D., B.D.: 4/16/77, APPELLANT.



Appeal from Superior Court of King County. Docket No: 94-8-03101-7. Date filed: 12/28/94. Judge signing: Hon. Kathleen J. Learned.

PER CURIAM. C.D. appeals his juvenile court Disposition of first degree robbery. The court found that C.D. was present when his friend pulled out a gun and robbed the victim and that he helped chase the victim. He claims that this evidence is insufficient proof that he assisted in the robbery. We disagree and affirm.

FACTS

Andre Green, David Keowongphet and another friend were in the school playfield when five males, including C.D., "crowded around them". The friend managed to run away. Allen Torres pulled out a gun and asked Andre for his coat and money. After Andre gave Allen his coat and $5, Allen took David's hat, watch and shirt. The other boys did not speak and just "[stood] around watching." C.D. was standing closest to Allen.

Andre saw an opening and told David to run. Andre ran into the school gym and called the police. No one ran after him. He then went back outside and saw C.D. and his companions get into a car and drive away. David ran towards a Post Office across the street with all five males chasing him. They stopped their pursuit after he got into the building. David told the people in the office to call the police.

Both Andre and David testified that C.D.'s and the others' presence made a difference because "if that one person was there all alone, then I don't think anything would have happened."

C.D. testified that he was not sure Allen had a gun and that he did not chase after David. He however confirmed that he had given the police a written statement that he saw Allen pull out a small gun and that "we all took off running after [David]".

The court found C.D. guilty of first degree robbery against David. It acquitted him of the robbery charge involving Andre. C.D. now challenges the court's written Finding of Fact, No. 10 which reads:

The respondent's close proximity to the event, coupled with his immediate chasing of the victim showed his readiness to assist in the robbery. The respondent piled into a car with the other defendants.

DECISION

D.C. argues that the court's finding is insufficient proof that he assisted in robbing David. In light of the record, we are unpersuaded. D.C. is guilty as an accomplice if his conduct aided another in planning or committing the crime and that aid was rendered with knowledge that it will promote or facilitate the crime. State v. Luna, 71 Wash. App. 755, 759, 862 P.2d 620 (1993). We review findings of fact to determine whether they are supported by substantial evidence. Substantial evidence is that which suffices to persuade a fair-minded, rational person of the truth of the declared premise. State v. Sommerville, 111 Wash. 2d 524, 534, 760 P.2d 932 (1988).

Here, the court did not find D.C. to be a credible witness. Credibility determinations are to be resolved by a trier of fact and are not subject to review on appeal. State v. Camarillo, 115 Wash. 2d 60, 71, 794 P.2d 850 (1990). Our review of the record makes clear that the court's finding that D.C. was present during the armed robbery and that he chased the victim afterwards was supported by substantial evidence. That evidence, in turn, supports a reasonable inference that C.D. assisted in the robbery, especially in light of the court's finding that D.C.'s version of the events was not credible.

19961109 ...


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