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State v. Griffin

March 17, 1997

STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT,
v.
PHILLIP GRIFFIN, APPELLANT.



Appeal from Superior Court of King County. Docket No: 95-8-07695-7. Date filed: 02/27/96. Judge signing: Hon. Robert Alsdorf.

PER CURIAM -- Phillip Griffin appeals his third degree malicious mischief conviction from the Juvenile Department of King County Superior Court. Griffin claims that the trial court erred by failing to enter sufficient written findings of fact and Conclusions of law. Specifically, he seeks to have his case remanded because the court failed to enter a finding that he acted with malice. We hold that the findings state sufficient facts to support every essential element of malicious mischief. And because the court's written findings lead to the inescapable Conclusion that Griffin acted maliciously, we hold that the ultimate fact of malice was sufficiently stated and affirm.

On the evening of August 5, 1995, Edmund Olokie and his family were at their home in Seattle. Olokie heard a crash of glass from the basement. At a fact-finding hearing, Olokie testified that three boys were repeatedly throwing rocks at his house. He identified Griffin as one of the boys. When Olokie went downstairs, he found that a window worth about $99 had been shattered.

Griffin testified that although he was present, he had been unaware that his companions planned to throw rocks at the Olokie house. He claimed that he had not thrown any rocks. Griffin's friend testified that he had encouraged another boy to throw rocks, but that Griffin had not been involved. The court rejected the boys' testimony as incredible and found Griffin guilty of third degree malicious mischief.

JuCR 7.11(d) requires written findings of fact and Conclusions of law in cases that are appealed from juvenile court. The findings must "state the ultimate facts as to each element of the crime and the evidence upon which the court relied in reaching its decision. . . ." JuCR 7.11(d).

After Griffin filed his notice of appeal, the lower court entered the following written findings of fact:

4. That the respondent intentionally threw rocks at the Olokie's home.

5. Mr. Olokie saw each of the boys, including the respondent, throw rocks[.]

7. That the boys threw numerous rocks.

8. That the respondent and the other boys broke a window in the Olokie house.

9. That the value of the window is greater than $50.00.

The court's Conclusions of law stated:

2. [Griffin] committed the crime of Malicious Mischief in the Third Degree[.]

3. That Phillip Tyrone Griffin is guilty of Malicious Mischief in the Third Degree[.]

We must decide whether these findings and Conclusions satisfy the specificity ...


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