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State v. Snarski

December 9, 1996

STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT,
v.
PAUL SNARSKI, D.O.B. 1-6-78, APPELLANT.



Appeal from Superior Court of King County. Docket No: 95-8-01832-9. Date filed: 08/22/95. Judge signing: Hon. Michael S. Spearman.

PER CURIAM. Paul Snarski appeals his juvenile court Disposition of second degree assault. He argues that there was insufficient evidence supporting the court's finding that he actively participated in a group attack on the victim because the victim blacked out after Snarski's first punch and was unable to recall what happened. Because there was sufficient evidence to find Snarski was an active participant in the attack, we affirm.

FACTS

Richard Moore ran into his cousin, Paul Snarski at a tavern parking lot. Moore had been drinking heavily and was intoxicated. Snarski asked Moore for a ride home. Even though Moore told him he wasn't going that way, Snarski and his three friends got into Moore's car. During the drive, Snarski again asked Moore to take him home. After Moore refused, Snarski hit him on the left side of his face. Moore hit him back.

Moore and Snarski got out of the car and began "struggling with each other's arms." Moore blacked out. He was unsure whether he blacked out because of Snarski's hit or from the alcohol. He woke up with his face smashed into the ground and a bloody nose. His artificial eye was knocked out, his ribs hurt and he had bruises all over his body. He walked to a friend's home nearby and called the police.

Officer Blodgett testified that Moore was still intoxicated when he arrived. He had cuts all over his face, his left eye area was bloody and his artificial eye missing. Moore told Blodgett that Snarski struck the first blow but that all four men were hitting him before he blacked out.

The court found Snarski guilty as charged. Snarski challenges the court's Conclusion of Law No. 2 which states:

Whether Paul Snarski punched Mr. Moore only once and did not participate further, or if he did strike other blows, is irrelevant as to his culpability. In either case, he is culpable, either as an accomplice in the former scenario or as a principal in the latter scenario.

DECISION

To find Snarski guilty of second degree assault under RCW 9A.36.021(1)(a), the State must prove he "intentionally assaulted another and thereby recklessly inflicted substantial bodily harm . . . ." Snarski 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).

Snarski argues while there was evidence that he hit Moore, there was insufficient evidence for the court to conclude that he actively participated in the attack that caused Moore's substantial injuries. The test of sufficiency of the evidence is whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, a rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt. State v. Green, 94 Wash. 2d 216, 221, 616 P.2d 628 (1980).

Here, the evidence was sufficient. It was undisputed that Snarski threw the first punch. There was also testimony that Snarski and his three friends were hitting Moore before he blacked out. He awoke to find himself bloody and his body bruised. A reasonable inference exists that Snarski actively contributed to Moore's injuries.

19961209 ...


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