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State v. Pittman

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 2

January 27, 2015

The State of Washington, Appellant ,
v.
Leldon R. Pittman, Respondent

Jennifer M. Winkler (of Nielsen Broman & Koch PLLC ), for appellant.

Mark E. Lindquist, Prosecuting Attorney, and Jason Ruyf, Deputy, for respondent.

BJORGEN, A.C.J. I concur: MELNICK, J., JOHANSON, C.J. (concurring).

OPINION

Page 1025

[185 Wn.App. 616] Bjorgen, J.

[¶1] Leldon R. Pittman appeals his convictions for attempting to elude a police vehicle and for driving under the influence of intoxicants. Pittman claims that the charging information omitted essential elements from the charge of attempting to elude a police vehicle and that the parties' exercise of their peremptory challenges on paper violated his right to a public trial. In a pro se statement of additional grounds, Pittman claims that his trial was untimely, requiring dismissal under CrR 3.3, and that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. We conclude in the published portion of this opinion that the charging information was adequate, and we address and reject Pittman's additional arguments in the unpublished portion. We affirm.

FACTS

[¶2] In January 2012, Pittman returned home after a night out and fought with his mother and stepfather. After [185 Wn.App. 617] Pittman and his girlfriend drove off, his mother called 911 to report the altercation and gave a description of Pittman's car.

[¶3] Police dispatch reported the incident as a vehicular assault involving a dark colored vehicle with a broken front windshield, and units from the Fife and Milton Police Departments responded. One of these units saw a car matching that description driving erratically away from the scene of the altercation. As the uniformed officer pulled behind the car to initiate a traffic stop, the car sped away. The car, later determined to be the one driven by Pittman, led officers on a chase at speeds between 30 and 80 m.p.h. During this chase, the sirens and emergency lights of the police vehicles were in use.

[¶4] The chase ended when Pittman's car crashed. As police officers approached the crashed vehicle, Pittman got out of it, saw the officers, and despite verbal commands that he stop, attempted to flee. Officers ultimately had to use a stun gun on Pittman to subdue him.

[¶5] The State charged Pittman with, among other offenses, driving under the influence of alcohol in violation of RCW 46.61.502(1)(c) and attempting to elude a police vehicle in violation of RCW 46.61.024(1).[1] On the eluding charge, the information stated that

Leldon Roy Pittman ... did unlawfully, feloniously, and wil[l]fully fail or refuse to immediately bring his vehicle to a stop and drive his vehicle in a reckless manner while attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, after being given a visual or audible signal to bring his vehicle to a stop by a uniformed officer in a vehicle equipped with lights and sirens, contrary to RCW 46.61.024(1).

[185 Wn.App. 618] Clerk's Papers (CP) at 12. The State alleged that while attempting to elude the police, Pittman endangered one or more persons

Page 1026

other than himself or the pursuing officers, an aggravating circumstance for sentencing under RCW 9.94A.533(11).

[¶6] After trial, the jury convicted Pittman of the driving under the influence and attempting to elude offenses. The jury also found that Pittman had endangered persons other than himself or the pursuing police when he attempted to elude a police vehicle, constituting the aggravating circumstance for sentencing.

[¶7] Pittman timely appeals.

ANALYSIS

Sufficiency of the Charging ...


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