Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Vasquez

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 3

March 1, 2018

STATE OF WASHINGTON, Respondent,
v.
ANTHONY RENE VASQUEZ, Appellant.

          OPINION PUBLISHED IN PART

          PENNELL, J.

         Under Washington law, a drive-by shooting requires a close nexus between a perpetrator and vehicle. Specifically, the perpetrator must either be inside a vehicle at the time of the shooting or within the vehicle's immediate area. Anthony Vasquez ran 63 feet from his vehicle and around the corner of a grocery store prior to shooting and killing Juan Garcia. While Mr. Vasquez's violent conduct fell well within the definition of first degree murder, it was not a drive-by shooting. As a result, Mr. Vasquez's drive-by shooting convictions and sentence aggravator must be reversed. The remainder of his convictions are affirmed.

         FACTS

         Mr. Vasquez shot and killed Mr. Garcia as Mr. Garcia was seated in the front passenger side of a GMC Envoy parked at the Airport Grocery in Moses Lake, Washington. Mr. Garcia's girlfriend was in the front driver's seat and her five-year-old child was in the back seat, behind Mr. Garcia. Neither Mr. Garcia's girlfriend nor her child were physically injured during the shooting.

         At the crux of this appeal is the route Mr. Vasquez took to shoot Mr. Garcia. Figure 1 is an annotated aerial map of the area. See Ex. P4.

         For several minutes prior to the shooting, the Envoy was parked near the Airport Grocery's front entrance. Mr. Vasquez then arrived at the scene in a Toyota pickup. The Toyota was parked on the side of the grocery, next to a fenced utility area, approximately 63 feet away from the Envoy. Once the Toyota was parked, Mr. Vasquez ran from the pickup and hid behind the utility fence for nearly a minute. Mr. Vasquez then rushed around the corner of the grocery, across the front-side of the Envoy, and over to the area of the front passenger window of the Envoy. The front window was partially rolled down, exposing Mr. Garcia to Mr. Vasquez. Mr. Vasquez shot and killed Mr. Garcia from point-blank range. Mr. Vasquez then retreated to the Toyota and it sped away.

         The entire shooting was captured on video by the grocery's surveillance system. Approximately one minute and 16 seconds elapsed between the Toyota's initial arrival and ultimate departure.

         A jury convicted Mr. Vasquez of first degree murder with a drive-by shooting aggravator, along with several counts of drive-by shooting.[1] Mr. Vasquez was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for the aggravated first degree murder conviction. He also received a 60-month firearm enhancement. Mr. Vasquez appeals. He has also filed a statement of additional grounds for review.

         ANALYSIS

         Washington's drive-by shooting statute states, in pertinent part:

A person is guilty of drive-by shooting when he or she recklessly discharges a firearm as defined in RCW 9.41.010 in a manner which creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person and the discharge is either from a motor vehicle or from the immediate area of a motor vehicle that was used to transport the shooter or the firearm, or both, to the scene of the discharge.

RCW 9A.36.045(1) (emphasis added).[2]

         Mr. Vasquez argues the evidence was insufficient to prove a drive-by shooting. The question is whether the State's evidence showed Mr. Vasquez was in the "immediate area" of the Toyota pickup truck at the time of the shooting. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, State v. Salinas, 119 Wn.2d 192, 201, 829 P.2d 1068 (1992), we hold the "immediate area" requirement was not met.

         In State v. Rodgers, our Supreme Court addressed what is meant by "immediate area" in the drive-by shooting context. 146 Wn.2d 55, 43 P.3d 1 (2002). Noting the drive-by shooting definition is "narrowly drawn, " id. at 61, Rodgers held a two-block distance between a shooter and his vehicle does not fall within the scope of a drive-by shooting. Rodgers looked to two dictionary definitions of "immediate" in reaching this conclusion. Id. at 62. The first defined "immediate" as "'existing without intervening space or substance . . . being near at hand: not far apart or distant.'" Id. (quoting Webster's Third New International Dictionary 1129 (1986)) (alteration in original). The second defined "immediate" as "'[n]ot separated in respect to place; not ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.