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State v. J.S.

May 5, 1997

STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT,
v.
J.S., B.D. 12-27-81, APPELLANT.



Appeal from Superior Court of King County. Docket No: 95-8-05204-7. Date filed: 10/31/95. Judge signing: Hon. Liem E. Tuai.

PER CURIAM. J.S. appeals his conviction in juvenile court of attempted arson in the first degree, contending that the evidence is insufficient. The State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that J.S. knowingly and maliciously took a substantial step toward causing a fire which damaged his house. Accordingly, we affirm.

J.S. was charged with attempted arson in the first degree contrary to RCW 9A.48.020(1)(b) and (c). After a fact finding hearing, the trial court entered the following unchallenged findings of fact:

1. [J.S.] was born on December 27, 1981. At the time of fact finding in this matter, he was thirteen years of age.

2. On August 26, 1995, [J.S.] was at his home located at . . .

Kent, Washington.

3. [J.S.] was angry at his mother . . . who was also present in the above-referenced home the morning of August 26, 1995.

4. That morning, [J.S.] told his sister . . . that he was going outside the front door of the home to light some papers on fire.

[J.S.] left the home by the front door and returned a short time later.

5. A charred pile of papers were found on the cement steps outside the front door of the home following [J.S.'s] return.

6. The evening of August 26, [J.S.'s mother and her boyfriend]

observed [J.S.] leave the house again mad at his mother. Once outside, [J.S.] began pulling screens off windows of the home, and throwing and kicking outdoor furniture. [J.S.] lit a package of cigarettes on fire with a hand-held lighter. [J.S.] placed the smoking package between the back screen door and the closed sliding glass door of the home. [J.S.'s mother, her boyfriend, and J.S.'s sister] were sitting at the dining room table just inside the sliding glass door watching [J.S.].

7. After placing the package there, [J.S.] closed the screen door causing the cigarette package to extinguish. Angry, [J.S.] withdrew the smoldering cigarette package from a rip he made in the screen door and threw it into the nearby grass.

8. [J.S.'s mother] observed [J.S.] place the hand-held lighter up to the screen door. In doing so, [J.S.] scorched the screen door.

9. [J.S.'s mother] also observed [J.S.] attempt to light a pile of cedar kindling that was next to the home on fire using the hand- held lighter. No scorching ...


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