Argued: February 13, 2014.
Appeal from Kitsap County Superior Court. 93-1-00265-1. Honorable M. Karlynn Haberly.
Thomas E. Weaver Jr., for petitioner.
Russell D. Hauge, Prosecuting Attorney, and Randall A. Sutton, Deputy, for respondent.
Diane M. Meyers, Kellen A. Hade, Sarah A. Dunne, and Nancy L. Talner on behalf of The Innocence Network, amicus curiae.
AUTHOR: Justice Mary E. Fairhurst. WE CONCUR: Justice Charles W. Johnson, Justice Charles K. Wiggins, Justice Steven C. Gonzá lez, Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud, Stephen J. Dwyer, Justice Pro Tem. AUTHOR: Justice Debra L. Stephens. WE CONCUR: Chief Justice Barbara A. Madsen, Justice Susan Owens.
[181 Wn.2d 255] ¶ 1 -- In 1993, petitioner Lindsey L. Crumpton was convicted of five counts of first degree rape and one count of residential burglary. In 2011, he petitioned the court for postconviction deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing pursuant to RCW 10.73.170. The superior court denied this motion, saying he had not shown a " 'likelihood that the DNA evidence would demonstrate his innocence on a more probable than not basis'" as is required by RCW 10.73.170(3). Clerk's Papers (CP) at 63 (quoting RCW 10.73.170(3)). The Court of Appeals affirmed. We must decide the standard the court should use to decide a motion for postconviction DNA testing and whether a court should presume DNA evidence would be favorable to the convicted individual when determining if it is likely the evidence would prove his or her innocence. We hold that a court should use such a presumption. We reverse and remand to the trial court to apply the proper standard.
I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
¶ 2 In 1993, a 75 year old widow living alone in Bremerton was repeatedly raped by an intruder. State v. Crumpton, 172 Wn.App. 408, 410, 289 P.3d 766 (2012). The woman was awoken at around 3:15 a.m. and saw a man standing in her room. Id. The man covered her head with bedding and raped her five times, four times anally and once vaginally. Id. In between each rape, he rummaged through different rooms in the house for valuables. Id. The [181 Wn.2d 256] woman was unable to give a good description of the rapist due to the dark room and her head being covered during the encounter. Id. However, she described him as a " 'big black man'" who felt " 'greasy'" and smelled of cologne. Id. at 410-11 (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting State v. Crumpton, noted at 82 Wn.App. 1015, slip op. at 3 (1996)).
¶ 3 After the fifth rape, the man poured something cold onto the woman,  rammed handkerchiefs from the woman's nightstand drawer into her perineal area, and then left. Id. at 410. Shortly afterward, she went to her neighbor's house for help. Id. at 411. At around 5:15 a.m., they called the police. Id. Paramedics came and took her to the hospital, where the doctor observed bruising on her neck, tearing of her rectum, and blood in her vagina. Id.
¶ 4 A police officer stopped Crumpton at 5:23 a.m. because he matched the description of the rapist. Id. Crumpton was running a half a mile from the woman's house. He was wearing soiled pants and a black leather jacket without a shirt. Id. His skin looked wet. Id. He was carrying a flower-print design pillowcase or blanket smeared with blood that matched the woman's bedding. Id. He had a beige phone cord,  costume jewelry, a cigarette case, and a number of handkerchiefs. Id. at 411-12. The woman identified all these items as belonging to her. Id. at 412. One of the hairs collected from the woman's mattress matched a pubic hair sample from Crumpton. Id. at 413.
¶ 5 When he was first stopped, Crumpton claimed he was going to his mother's house from his sister's house. Id. at 411. He said he had the sheets for his mother to wash, the handkerchiefs because
he had a cold, and the jewelry because he didn't trust his sister with it. Id. at 412. Later, Crumpton admitted to being in the woman's house for [181 Wn.2d 257] approximately 40 minutes and to taking her items but denied hitting or raping her.
¶ 6 Crumpton was charged with five counts of first degree rape and one count of residential burglary. After a trial, the jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts. The trial court imposed an exceptional sentence based on deliberate cruelty and the particular vulnerability of the victim. Crumpton appealed, and his conviction was affirmed. This court denied review.
¶ 7 Years later, Crumpton filed a motion to allow postconviction DNA testing of several items of evidence that contained biological material: the rectal and vaginal swabs of the victim, the flannel sheet from the bed, white handkerchiefs collected from the scene of the rape, and hairs that were also collected from the scene. The trial court denied this motion. CP at 60-65. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court in a 2-1 published decision. Crumpton, 172 Wn.App. 408. We granted review. State v. Crumpton, 177 Wn.2d 1015, 306 P.3d 960 (2013).
II. ISSUE PRESENTED
¶ 8 On a motion for postconviction DNA testing, should a trial court presume that DNA results would be favorable to the defendant when determining if the DNA test would demonstrate his innocence on a more probable than not basis?
¶ 9 We review a trial court's decision on a motion for postconviction DNA testing for abuse of discretion. State v. Riofta, 166 Wn.2d 358, 370, 209 P.3d 467 (2009). A trial court abuses its discretion if the decision rests on facts unsupported in the record or was reached by applying the wrong ...