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State v. Young

February 3, 1997

STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT,
v.
RALPH ALEXANDER YOUNG, APPELLANT.



Appeal from Superior Court of King County. Docket No: 94-1-08092-6. Date filed: 06/26/95. Judge signing: Hon. Linda Lau.

Petition for Review Denied July 8, 1997,

Authored by Faye C. Kennedy. Concurring: Susan R. Agid, C. Kenneth Grosse.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kennedy

KENNEDY, A.C.J. -- Ralph A. Young, who pleaded guilty to the charges of first degree kidnapping, indecent liberties and second degree robbery of Cheryl Greene, and who was found guilty following a bench trial of the additional charge of first degree kidnapping of Ms. Greene's two-year-old son Saul Greene, appeals his conviction of the first degree kidnapping of Saul, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to establish that he intentionally abducted Saul with the intent to facilitate the crimes of indecent liberties and second degree robbery against Saul's mother. Young also appeals the exceptional sentences imposed on each of his first degree kidnapping convictions, arguing that: (1) the trial court's findings of fact and Conclusions of law in support of the sentences were erroneous, (2) the court's findings were legally insufficient to support the exceptional sentences, and (3) the court erred in failing to articulate a reason for the lengths of the exceptional sentences imposed. Finally, Young contends that the trial court erred in imposing consecutive sentences, and in requiring, as a special condition of community placement, that he consume no alcohol and submit to testing to provide proof of compliance. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

On December 7, 1994, at about 5:30 p.m., Cheryl Greene arrived at Manning's Childcare Center to pick up her two-year-old son, Saul. After buckling Saul into his car seat in the front passenger side of her car, Ms. Greene walked to the back of the car to get the child a marshmallow from the groceries in the trunk. She then returned to the driver's side of the car, opened the door, and leaned inside to give Saul the marshmallow. When she stood up, Ms. Greene noticed Young standing behind her. Ms. Greene got into the car and was attempting to close the door behind her when Young put his arm in the door and demanded all of Ms. Greene's money. Ms. Greene responded that she had none. Young then ordered her to move over, telling her that he had a gun and that he would use it. Ms. Greene complied and Young got into the car. Frightened by Young's presence, Saul immediately began crying.

Young started the car and informed Ms. Greene that he was going to take her to the bank to withdraw some money for him. As he was driving, Young pulled up Ms. Greene's dress and began touching her legs. Ms. Greene asked Young not to touch her, explaining that she was pregnant. Young responded that she didn't have a choice. When they arrived at the bank, Young told Ms. Greene to leave Saul in the car while she used the cash machine. Ms. Greene refused to leave the child inside the car, and Young eventually permitted her to take Saul with her. As Ms. Greene used the cash machine, Young stood directly behind her. Ms. Greene testified that:

"I probably would have run in the bank if I didn't have Saul because I could've moved quicker, but I had him in my arms and I was afraid that if I tried anything, if he missed me, he'd shoot Saul." Vol. 3, Report of Proceedings at 96. She withdrew $100 and gave it to Young.

As they were walking back to the car, Ms. Greene begged Young to let them go. She told him to take the car and leave. When Young responded by pushing Greene "real hard" in the back, she got back inside the car with Saul. Vol. 3, Report of Proceedings at 98-99. Young then started the car and drove around the neighborhood, periodically touching Ms. Greene's legs and crotch. At one point, Young forced Ms. Greene to kiss him. He later forced her to touch his crotch.

After driving through the neighborhood for some time, Young stopped the car and picked up a passenger. When Young gave the passenger Ms. Greene's $100, the passenger left the car and returned a short time later with drugs. Ms. Greene testified that she was going to try to jump out of the car while the drug transaction was taking place, but that she was afraid she "couldn't move fast enough with Sauly on [her] legs because [she] didn't really have him in a good holding position." Vol. 3, Report of Proceedings at 104. Upon receiving the drugs, Young drove a couple of blocks and then let the passenger out of the car.

While driving away, Young asked Ms. Greene if she used drugs. She responded that she did not, and Young stated: "That means I'm going to have to force you to do drugs." Vol. 3, Report of Proceedings at 105. Young then pulled into a play field parking lot, at which time he and Ms. Greene noticed a parked police car. Young told Ms. Greene to get out of the car and go into the restroom, acting as if everything was normal. Ms. Greene complied, taking Saul with her. Ms. Greene testified that while she was in the restroom, she decided:

I was gonna have to take the chance of having a miscarriage in order to save Sauly . . . .

Vol. 3, Report of Proceedings at 106.

Ms. Greene left the restroom and returned to the car. As Young drove past the parked police car, Ms. Greene opened the door and rolled out with Saul in her arms, yelling for help. As she hit the ground, the car accelerated and one of the rear tires ran over both of her legs. Officer Greg Traver, who was sitting in the parked police car, witnessed Ms. Greene jump from the car. He requested an aid unit which eventually transported Ms. Greene to the hospital where she was treated for a broken ankle.

On December 12, 1994, Young was charged with one count of first degree kidnapping for the abduction of Ms. Greene, one count of second degree robbery, one count of indecent liberties by forcible compulsion, and one count of first degree kidnapping for the abduction of Saul (Counts I-IV). On April 24, 1995, following a CrR 3.5 hearing, Young pleaded guilty to Counts I-III, and submitted to a bench trial on Count IV, the charge of first degree kidnapping for the abduction of Saul. On June 19, 1995, the court found Young guilty as charged.

At sentencing, the State requested an exceptional sentence of 480 months based on the victims' vulnerability and the fact that the crimes were committed in front of Ms. Greene's two-year-old son Saul. Imposing an exceptional sentence of 240 months, *fn1 the court found:

2. There are substantial and compelling reasons justifying an exceptional sentence in this case.

3. A substantial and compelling reason is that the commission of these crimes in front of Saul increased the psychological impact on Cheryl Greene. The commission of the crimes in front of Saul Greene also had a psychological impact on ...


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