Oral Argument March 5, 2014.
Appeal from Kitsap Superior Court. Docket No: 12-1-00262-1. Date filed: 06/12/2012. Judge signing: Honorable Leila Mills.
Jodi R. Backlund and Manek R. Mistry (of Backlund & Mistry ), for appellant.
Russell D. Hague, Prosecuting Attorney, and Randall A. Sutton, Deputy, for respondent.
AUTHOR: James Verellen, A.C.J. WE CONCUR: Stephen J. Dwyer, J., Mary Kay Becker, J.
[181 Wn.App. 703] ¶ 1 Sufficient evidence exists to support a conviction for rendering criminal assistance
by concealment under RCW 9A.76.050(1) and .070(1) if the defendant conceals another by making an affirmative misrepresentation to police officers that is not a mere false disavowal of knowledge. Taking the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, there was sufficient evidence that Megan Mollet intended to conceal Joshua Blake by affirmatively misstating that she had not seen him and providing police with a false alibi for herself. Additionally, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence that Mollet inscribed a memorial to Blake on her jail cell that included the words " White Power." Therefore, we affirm.
¶ 2 Just after midnight on February 23, 2012, Washington State Patrol Trooper Tony Radulescu stopped Blake's truck on Highway 16 in Gorst and called in the license plate number. Blake was driving and Mollet, a longtime family friend of Blake, was sitting in the passenger seat. Trooper Radulescu approached the vehicle on the passenger side and asked Blake for his license and registration. Blake shot Trooper Radulescu, who died as a result of the injury.
¶ 3 Blake and Mollet then drove to a property on Sidney Road in Port Orchard. Their mutual friends lived in a small house on the property, and Mollet was staying in a larger [181 Wn.App. 704] " flophouse" on the property. When they arrived, Blake made Mollet get out of the truck. Mollet returned to the flophouse. Blake remained at the small house for about 15 minutes before someone gave him a ride to another location.
¶ 4 Shortly after the shooting occurred, police officers discovered Trooper Radulescu's body. Sometime between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m., police began searching for Blake's truck. Thirty to forty-five minutes later, they found it abandoned on the Sidney Road property, parked in a field where the brush was taller than the cab of the truck. Police officers cleared six people from the two houses on the Sidney Road property, including Mollet, and began to interview them. One of the officers explained to Mollet and some of the other residents that Blake's truck was found on the property, that Blake was suspected of killing the trooper, and that they needed help getting any information possible.
¶ 5 Mollet spoke with two officers and told them that she did not know Blake and did not know anything about a trooper being shot. She also stated that she had not seen Blake on the property and that she had spent the evening helping a friend move in Belfair.
¶ 6 The State charged Mollet by amended information with rendering criminal assistance in the first degree and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant. Mollet testified that she lied to the police because Blake threatened to kill her if she said anything. The jury convicted Mollet on both counts.
¶ 7 Mollet appeals.
Sufficiency of the Evidence