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State v. Abbas

February 10, 1997


Appeal from Superior Court of King County. Docket No: 94-1-06823-3. Date filed: 05/31/95. Judge signing: Hon. William L. Downing.

PER CURIAM. Fareed M. Abbas appeals the judgment and sentence entered following his conviction of taking a motor vehicle without permission. Abbas's counsel filed a brief contending that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction and the trial court erroneously sentenced Abbas based on an offender score of 6. Abbas has filed a pro se supplemental brief in which he contends that he had a conflict with his attorney, a stipulation was entered without his consent, he did not agree to extensions of the speedy trial date, his prior convictions should not have been admitted, and prosecution witnesses Hebert and Sandberg gave irrelevant and prejudicial opinion testimony. We conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction, Abbas's prior convictions were properly admitted as crimes of dishonesty under ER 609(a)(2), and the trial court properly sentenced Abbas based on an offender score of 6. Abbas's other contentions cannot be reviewed.


Daniel McGuy, a sales representative for New Wilson Ford, testified that at about 2 p.m. on September 28, 1994, Abbas approached him and inquired about a black Ford Bronco on the lot. McGuy got the keys, and Abbas looked inside and outside the car. Abbas told McGuy he was very interested and would return with his wife.

That evening just before closing, Abbas returned alone and asked to test drive the Bronco. McGuy terminated the test drive when he became concerned about Abbas's driving. When they returned to the dealership, McGuy went into a restricted area to return the keys to a box. Abbas followed McGuy, but left when McGuy told him he could not be in the area.

Abbas then asked McGuy for a cup of coffee. McGuy responded that Abbas could get coffee from the area outside the unlocked double doors to the restricted area. McGuy left Abbas there drinking coffee. McGuy left for the day shortly thereafter and did not discover the Bronco was missing until the next day.

At about 9 p.m., Abbas's roommate, Kevin Sandberg, saw the Bronco in the driveway when he returned home. Sandberg asked Abbas about the vehicle because he knew Abbas was unemployed and had not paid any rent that month. Abbas told Sandberg that his employer had leased the Bronco for him. Sandberg noticed there was no temporary license or plates, and Abbas told Sandberg that he had no papers for the Bronco. After working in his room for the next hour and a half, Sandberg went into the living area where he found a pan burning on the stove and Abbas slumped on the couch. Abbas was not breathing regularly, so Sandberg attempted to revive him and called 911. One of the emergency medical personnel found the keys to the Bronco in Abbas's pocket.

After Abbas was in the ambulance, Sandberg checked his voice mail, where he heard a message asking for the vehicle identification number and whether "they" were needed to pick up the vehicle. Sandberg did not recall the name of the caller.

Leslie Hebert, Abbas's neighbor, testified that during the evening Abbas came to her apartment and asked to borrow $2 to buy oil for his new car. She gave him the money because she was uneasy and wanted him to leave. She saw the Bronco parked in front of the apartment. Abbas later returned and asked for more money, but Hebert declined. Hebert noticed that the Bronco was gone, but later saw the Bronco in the driveway and Abbas getting out of the driver's side and a woman getting out of the passenger side.

Jack Owen, the owner of New Wilson Ford, identified the Bronco as the one missing from his lot. He testified that no employees are posted in the service area where McGuy left the keys near closing time and that a person standing outside the restricted area could enter and leave it in a matter of seconds.

Abbas testified that on September 28, 1994, he was riding with Terry Jeffries and Reynaldo Banks. As they passed New Wilson Ford, Jeffries said he was looking for a Bronco and asked Abbas to test drive one. Abbas was uncomfortable with the idea because he had been drinking, but agreed. He approached McGuy, but then left after saying he would bring his wife. In the evening, Abbas and Banks returned to New Wilson Ford where Abbas took a test drive. After McGuy terminated the test drive, Abbas followed McGuy into the office, but did not follow him into the restricted area. Abbas left and went home, where he saw the new Bronco in the driveway. He admitted lying to Sandberg about the car because he did not know what else to do.

Abbas testified that about ten minutes later, Banks arrived and said he had a "demo permit," which Abbas knew could not be true. When Abbas asked Banks whether he had taken the car, Banks told Abbas to mind his own business. Banks refused to move the car and said Jeffries would be picking it up. Abbas then went in the house and unintentionally took an overdose of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication. He recalled asking Hebert for money, which he said he wanted for cigarettes.

Banks twice returned and checked on the Bronco, once by himself and once with a woman. Banks then gave the keys to Abbas with instructions to give them to Jeffries when he arrived. Abbas denied driving or riding in the vehicle other than for the test drive. The only time he was in the Bronco was when he asked the woman to get out of it.

Abbas testified that during the fall of 1994, he was working as a confidential informant for the DEA in an investigation of Jeffries. Abbas had known Jeffries and Banks for several years and was suspicious of their activities. He believed Jeffries was selling controlled substances and had seen Banks sell a vehicle he did not own at far below its value.

The court read the jury the following stipulation:

We the parties stipulate that Fareed Abbas was instrumental in the arrest of Reynaldo Banks in 1993 by the [Washington State Patrol]. Fareed Abbas was not working as a confidential informant for the [Washington State Patrol] at that ...

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