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State v. Vanwinkle

March 24, 1997

STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT,
v.
JEREMY R. VANWINKLE, APPELLANT.



Appeal from Superior Court of King County. Docket No: 95-8-03739-1. Date filed: 09/06/95. Judge signing: Hon. Marsha J. Pechman.

PER CURIAM--Jeremy Vanwinkle appeals his conviction in juvenile court of forgery. The sole issue on appeal is the sufficiency of the evidence. We conclude there is sufficient evidence for a rational trier of fact to find beyond a reasonable doubt that he knew the check was forged and that he cashed it with intent to injure or defraud. Accordingly, we affirm.

The trial court entered the following unchallenged findings of fact:

1. The respondent, Jeremy Vanwinkle, was born on April 23, 1978.

At the time of fact finding in this matter, he was 17 years of age.

2. On March 6 or 7, 1995, the respondent presented a check to Denise Morgan, a teller at the White River Credit Union located in Enumclaw, King County[,] Washington. The respondent wanted to cash the check.

3. The check was number 4512 and drawn on the account of Connie Russell . . . in the amount of $200.00. The check was payable to Jeremy Vanwinkle and was endorsed with the signature of Jeremy Vanwinkle on the reverse. The check was dated March 6, 1995. The check was admitted into evidence.

4. Denise Morgan asked for identification and the respondent provided her with a Washington State ID card. Ms. Morgan wrote the ID number on the back of the check. The respondent told her that the address on the ID card was incorrect. Ms. Morgan asked the respondent for his correct address and the respondent stated he could not remember his address. The respondent then provided Ms. Morgan with his pager number and what he said was his home phone number of 825-6194. Ms. Morgan wrote the information on the back of the check.

5. Ms. Morgan accepted the check and paid the respondent $200.00 cash and debited Ms. Russell's account. Ms. Morgan positively identified the respondent in court and in a photo montage.

6. Connie Russell maintained a checking account . . . at the White River Credit Union. On March 7, 1995 Connie Russell discovered that some checks that she had reordered had been stolen from her mailbox. A woman who lived 10 miles away had recovered what was left of the checks and notified Ms. Russell. One book of checks was gone and there were several checks missing from another book. One of the checks that was missing was check number 4512. Ms. Russell identified State's Exhibit # 1 as one of her checks which was stolen.

7. Ms. Russell does not know the respondent. She did not sign the check number 4512. The "Connie Russell" signature on check 4512 is not hers. She did not make out or give any check from her account to the respondent. She did not authorize anyone to write any check from her account and she did not authorize anyone to endorse check number 4512. Ms. Russell received no benefit from check number 4512.

8. Janis Parker is a forensic document examiner from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab. Ms. Parker compared the handwriting on Ms. Russell's check number 4512 with a handwriting exemplar provided by the respondent. Ms. Parker came to the following Conclusions:

First, the respondent is the writer of the endorsement appearing on the back of the check. Second, the respondent cannot be identified or eliminated as the writer or signer of the check.

Third, there are indications that the respondent is not the writer of the handprinting on the check. Fourth, there are indications that the respondent is the writer of the "Connie Russell" signature on the check.

9. Tamara Bens is the respondent's probation counselor. She testified that during March of 1995 the respondent should have been living at his parents ...


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