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State v. Williston

April 24, 1997

STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT,
v.
ROBERT MICHAEL WILLISTON, APPELLANT.



Appeal from Superior Court of Ferry County. Docket No: 95-1-00038-0. Date filed: 12/19/95. Judge signing: Hon. Larry M. Kristianson.

Authored by Dennis J. Sweeney. Concurring: Philip J. Thompson, Frank L. Kurtz.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sweeney

SWEENEY, C.J. On June 10, 1995, Robert M. Williston stole Larry Dragnich's gun collection. He later pawned the guns in several states.

The State charged Mr. Williston with one count of first degree burglary with a deadly weapon and one count of theft of a firearm. Mr. Williston moved to dismiss the charges since the State failed to preserve photographs of tire tracks and the audio recording of Mr. Dragnich made during the investigation. The court denied the motion. During trial, the State admitted a computer printout made by the Las Vegas Police Department that listed pawn shop transactions occurring in Las Vegas. Mr. Williston's objection was overruled. At the close of the State's case, Mr. Williston moved for dismissal due to insufficient evidence to support the burglary charge, and dismissal of the theft of firearms charge for lack of evidence showing possession. The court denied both motions. A jury convicted Mr. Williston of both counts.

Mr. Williston appeals.

Discussion

Sufficiency of the Evidence. Mr. Williston first claims the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction for first degree burglary. We review the evidence in the light most favorable to the State and affirm the conviction if any reasonable trier of fact could find all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. State v. Jeffries, 105 Wash. 2d 398, 407, 717 P.2d 722 (1986).

"A person is guilty of burglary in the first degree if, with intent to commit a crime against a person or property therein, he or she enters or remains unlawfully in a building and if, in entering or while in the building . . . is armed with a deadly weapon . . . ." RCW 9A.52.020(1).

Two days before the burglary, Mr. Williston told Daja Charvenka that he planned to go to Mr. Dragnich's home and steal his gun collection. On the night of the burglary, Ms. Charvenka and Mr. Williston walked up Mr. Dragnich's driveway. Ms. Charvenka returned home, but later Mr. Williston woke her and told her that he had the guns and needed help carrying them.

She returned with Mr. Williston to a hill below Mr. Dragnich's home where Mr. Williston had left the gun collection. The evidence is sufficient to show that Mr. Williston entered Mr. Dragnich's home with the intention to steal the gun collection. State v. Larson, 3 Wash. App. 525, 528, 475 P.2d 896 (1970) (burglary may be shown by circumstantial evidence). Since he stole guns, he was armed with a deadly weapon during the burglary. See State v. Speece, 56 Wash. App. 412, 418, 783 P.2d 1108 (1989) (finding defendant armed when defendant stole guns during burglary), aff'd, 115 Wash. 2d 360, 798 P.2d 294 (1990).

Mr. Williston argues that nothing shows his presence in the home.

Proof of possession of recently stolen property when accompanied by suggestive evidence on collateral matters supports a burglary conviction.

In re Personal Restraint of Ness, 70 Wash. App. 817, 824, 855 P.2d 1191 (1993), review denied, 123 Wash. 2d 1009, 869 P.2d 1085 (1994). For instance, in State v. Garske, 74 Wash. 2d 901, 903, 447 P.2d 167 (1968), the court found sufficient evidence of second degree burglary based partly on testimony placing the defendant near the crime scene. Ms. Charvenka's testimony places Mr. Williston near the scene of the burglary and other suggestive evidence supports his conviction.

Admission of Police Department's Printout of Pawn Tickets. Mr. Williston next claims the court erred by admitting the computer printout of pawn tickets ...


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