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State v. Moran

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 1

May 19, 2014

The State of Washington, Respondent,
v.
Kevin John Moran, Appellant

Oral Argument April 17, 2014.

Appeal from Snohomish Superior Court. Docket No: 12-1-00614-2. Date filed: 10/16/2012. Judge signing: Honorable Mary Elizabeth Dingledy.

Kevin J. Moran, pro se.

Kathleen A. Shea (of Washington Appellate Project ), for appellant.

Mark K. Roe, Prosecuting Attorney, and Seth A. Fine, Deputy, for respondent.

AUTHOR: Stephen J. Dwyer, J. We concur: James Verellen, A.C.J., J. Robert Leach, J.

OPINION

Page 809

Dwyer, J.

[181 Wn.App. 318] ¶ 1 Kevin Moran was charged with and convicted of residential burglary after tampering with a sewage pipe at the house of his ex-wife, Karen Moran. Kevin [1] cut open the sewage pipe and filled it with foam that hardens and expands once it comes into contact with air, which caused the toilet and the bathtub to back up. To carry out his act of sabotage, Kevin crawled underneath the deck, through an access door set in the house's foundation, and into a lighted area beneath the house with access to the pipe. On appeal, he contends that the State failed to present sufficient evidence that he entered a " dwelling," as required by the residential burglary statute. He also contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence. We hold that sufficient evidence was presented at trial to support Kevin's conviction of residential

Page 810

burglary and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying his motion for a new trial. Accordingly, we affirm.

I

¶ 2 Kevin and Karen were married for 23 years, during which time they built a house together. Kevin was the general contractor and did a fair amount of labor on the house. The couple divorced in 2007. In the divorce decree, Karen was awarded sole possession of the house, but Kevin retained half ownership and both parties agreed that they [181 Wn.App. 319] would eventually sell the house and split the sale proceeds. Still, Kevin was required to obtain Karen's permission in order for him to enter the premises. Although their divorce had begun amicably, their relationship deteriorated over time. Kevin exhibited " tremendous animosity" toward Karen, based, in part, on the fact that she maintained possession of the home.

¶ 3 On December 23, 2010, Karen left the house to pick up her boyfriend, who had come in from out of town to visit. Kevin had not asked for Karen's permission to come to the house on that day. When Karen returned with her boyfriend to the house, she found a message spray-painted in red on the garage door: " Thou shalt not covet." Later that evening, a toilet on the main floor began to back up, and the following day the bathtub also began to back up. Karen called a plumber, who went underneath the house and discovered that a sewer pipe had recently been patched using plumber's cement. The plumber concluded that the sewer pipe underneath the house ...


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