In re the Matter of the Personal Restraint of JOSE LUIS SANCHEZ, Jr.
FEARING CHIEF JUDGE
court on its own motion finds that the opinion filed January
24, 2017, should be withdrawn;
IT IS ORDERED that the opinion filed January 24, 2017, is
hereby withdrawn and a new opinion shall be filed this day.
Luis Sanchez, Jr., seeks relief from personal restraint
imposed for his 2008 Yakima County convictions of two counts
of aggravated first degree murder and other felony crimes.
The convictions stem from his participation in a February 20,
2005 home invasion robbery and execution-style shootings at
the apartment of Ricky Causor and Michelle Kublic. The
shootings killed Causor and the couple's 3-year-old
daughter and wounded Kublic and their 18-month-old daughter.
At trial, Kublic positively identified Sanchez as the
shooter, as did Sanchez's codefendant Mario Mendez who
previously pleaded guilty and testified for the State.
Sanchez filed a direct appeal and this court affirmed the
judgment and sentence. State v. Sanchez, 171 Wn.App.
518, 288 P.3d 351 (2012), review denied, 177 Wn.2d
timely filed personal restraint petition (PRP), Sanchez
contends he is entitled to a new trial on grounds that (1) he
was denied his right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment to
the United States Constitution during a critical stage when
he was arraigned without counsel, and (2) in the alternative,
his counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to
appear and object to his being filmed by media at his
arraignment proceeding. We disagree with his contentions and
dismiss his PRP.
arrested Sanchez on February 23, 2005, after acting on
anonymous telephone tips that he was responsible for the
Causor murders. The next day, he appeared for a single court
hearing on two matters: (1) arraignment on an outstanding
2004 matter charging him with certain felonies, and (2) a
preliminary appearance in the current murder case. The
prosecutor was present but no attorney appeared for Sanchez.
First addressing the 2004 matter, the court advised Sanchez
of his rights, which he acknowledged he understood before
requesting that the court appoint counsel. The prosecutor
interjected that an attorney had already been appointed on
the 2004 matter, but that Yakima County public
defender/director of assigned counsel, Daniel Fessler, was
requesting that the court appoint him on both matters. The
court did so. The court then explained to Sanchez that he was
being held under investigation on suspicion for first degree
murder, attempted first degree murder, first degree robbery,
and felon in possession of a firearm. Based on a police
probable cause declaration showing that acquaintances of
Sanchez had implicated him in the robbery and murders, the
court found probable cause to believe Sanchez committed one
or more crimes. The probable cause declaration also stated
that "victim Michelle Kublic was shown a photo montage,
which included 'Gato's' photo, whose name is
Mario Mendez. She positively identified him as one of the
males who entered her house and shot them." Pers.
Restraint Pet., App. C, Decl. of Probable Cause at 6. The
court set Sanchez's bail at $5 million and scheduled his
arraignment for February 28.
February 28, 2005, the State formally charged Sanchez and
Mendez (who still remained at large) with seven crimes
including two counts of aggravated first degree murder, which
carried a possible death penalty. That day, Sanchez and an
unknown number of other defendants appeared in superior court
for a group arraignment hearing. The court explained their
rights and noted that each "has a lawyer appointed to
represent you or you might have hired a private
attorney." Pers. Restraint Pet., App. B, Report of
Proceedings (RP) (Feb. 28, 2005) at 2-3. The court then
explained the process for the arraignment hearing:
[W]hen your name is called we'll ask you to step up to
the counter in front of this microphone. The prosecutor will
hand you a piece of paper called an information. That lists
the charges. She will read that to you if you want her to
read it out loud. You don't have to have it read out
After that, I'm going to ask you a couple of questions.
I'm going to ask you if you understand the charges and if
you have any questions about the rights I have just
If you don't have questions, I am going to hand you an
order. On the order there is the next two dates that you need
to be in court. One is for an omnibus hearing. The next is
for your trial.
Many of you have not had a chance to talk to your lawyer yet,
if it's appointed counsel. You're [sic] lawyer is
going to get a packet of information from the
prosecutor's office in the next couple of days. They will
schedule a time to come and meet with you.
At the end of all this I'm going to hand you that order
and ask you to sign the order at the bottom of the page. By
signing the order you're not admitting that you have done
anything wrong. It lets us know that you have gotten a copy
of the paperwork today.
Pers. Restraint Pet., App. B, RP (Feb. 28, 2005) at 3-4.
court then called Sanchez's case. The court's prior
explanation of rights to the defendants included the right to
counsel, but did not specify any right to have counsel
present during the current hearing. No attorney appeared for
Sanchez. The prosecutor recited the seven charges and gave
Sanchez a copy of the information. Sanchez acknowledged to
the court that he understood the charges, and he declined a
full reading of the information. He said he had no questions
about the rights previously explained to him. The court
entered an order setting dates for the omnibus hearing and
trial. Sanchez signed the order and received a copy.
broached the subject of entering a plea during the
arraignment. The court apparently entered summary not guilty
pleas for Sanchez. No concerns regarding the arraignment
procedure were ever voiced during the remainder of the
pretrial and trial proceedings.
case was high profile in the community and had already
generated considerable media coverage. In his declaration
filed with this petition, Sanchez states he appeared at the
arraignment without counsel and in jail clothes and shackles.
He states "there were lots of news media people and
cameras, " and he "observed people photographing my
face and filming the proceedings when I was in court that
day." Pers. Restraint Pet., App. D at 2. He states he
did not want to be filmed but did not know there was any way
to prevent this from happening. The report of proceedings for
the arraignment hearing is silent as to the presence of
Michelle Kublic had remained hospitalized for multiple
gunshot wounds until she was released to her father's
home on February 26. The following facts quoted from the
direct appeal opinion detail Kublic's various initial
descriptions of ...