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State v. Scanlan

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 1

March 12, 2018

THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, Respondent,
v.
THERESA GAIL SCANLAN, Appellant.

          Mann, J.

         Theresa Scanlan appeals her convictions for assault in the second degree, felony violation of a court order, and unlawful imprisonment of Leroy Bagnell, her domestic partner. Scanlan contends that (1) the trial court erred in admitting testimonial statements made by Bagnell to medical treatment providers, (2) there was insufficient evidence to support the charge of unlawful imprisonment, and (3) her convictions for both felony violation of a no-contact order and assault in the second degree were based on the same course of conduct and violate double jeopardy.

         We hold that because the primary purpose of Bagnell's statements to his treatment providers was for medical treatment, the admission of the statements did not violate Scanlan's rights under the confrontation clause. We further conclude that there was sufficient evidence to support Scanlan's conviction for unlawful imprisonment. We therefore affirm Scanlan's convictions for assault in the second degree and unlawful imprisonment. However, we accept the State's concession and reverse Scanlan's conviction for felony violation of a no-contact order. We remand for resentencing on the crimes of assault in the second degree, unlawful imprisonment, and misdemeanor violation of a no-contact order.

         FACTS

         In 2013, Bagnell, an 82-year-old widower, was living independently in the Federal Way home that he had shared with his wife of more than 50 years. Sometime in 2013, Bagnell met Scanlan, a woman 30 years his junior. They quickly became friends and about two months later, Scanlan moved in with Bagnell.

         On October 16, 2014, the Federal Way Police Department responded to Bagnell's home after receiving a 911 hang-up call. The officers found Bagnell and Scanlan inside the home. Scanlan was uninjured, but Bagnell, who was dressed in a t-shirt and underwear, had wounds on his head, arms, and legs. After questioning Scanlan, the officers arrested her. As a result of the incident, a court order was issued prohibiting Scanlan from contacting Bagnell.

         A few weeks later, on November 6, 2014, Bagnell's adult children grew concerned after Bagnell missed a scheduled meeting with them. After trying and failing to reach him on his cell phone and home phone, Bagnell's children went to Bagnell's house to check on him.

         When Bagnell's children arrived at his house, they found it dark. Its blinds were drawn and all of the interior and exterior lights were out. The children thought this was odd and moved up to the front porch to try to see inside. From the porch they could see the glow of the television and shadowy movements. They rang the doorbell and knocked but received no answer. Bagnell's children were alarmed and opened the door with an emergency key.

         Inside, they found Bagnell's home in disarray. Trails of blood ran across the carpet and up the stairs, gouges marked the walls, and broken household items and debris lay on the floor. A golf club leaned against a wall, and a hammer lay on a coffee table. A crowbar was on the dining room table, and a broken broom handle stood in a garbage bucket in the middle of the family room's floor. Bagnell sat alone in a chair in the family room, dazed, bleeding from several wounds, and severely bruised such that "[h]is face was black." Bagnell at first appeared to be unconscious, but he began to respond to their attempts to rouse him as they called 911.

         Roughly 15 minutes later, Federal Way Police Officer Brian Bassage arrived at Bagnell's home. Just as Officer Bassage arrived, Scanlan was found hiding under a blanket in the front seat of a car in the garage. As Officer Bassage removed her from the car, Bagnell's daughter yelled out at her that she had "just beat her father half to death, that there was blood everywhere." Scanlan shouted back, "It's not that bad."

         At the police station, Scanlan claimed to be injured. The police took pictures, but did not detect any significant injuries. Scanlan did not receive medical treatment.

         Bagnell was transported to the hospital where he was treated in the emergency room for his injuries which included: extensive bruising all over his body, four large open wounds on his legs, wounds on his arms, and fractures on both hands. Bagnell was treated in the emergency room on November 6 by emergency room Nurse Catherine Gay and Dr. Robert Britt. Bagnell also met with social worker Jemina Skjonsby. After treatment, but prior to his release, Bagnell met with Federal Way Police Department Detective Adrienne Purcella from about midnight to 1:00 a.m. Bagnell signed a form medical records waiver at 12:55 a.m.

         Bagnell did not testify at trial. However, the trial court admitted statements that Bagnell made to medical providers in the emergency room, as well as subsequent statements made to his primary care physician and wound care medical team.

         In November 2015, the State charged Scanlan with assault in the second degree (count 1), felony violation of a court order (count 2), unlawful imprisonment (count 3), and assault in the fourth degree (count 4). All counts contained a domestic violence allegation. The jury found Scanlan guilty of assault in the second degree, felony violation of a court order, and unlawful imprisonment. Scanlan appeals.

         ANALYSIS

         Right to Confrontation

         Scanlan contends first that her right to confront the primary witness against her was violated. She argues that the trial court erred in admitting testimonial statements made by Bagnell to medical providers and two law enforcement officers.

         A. Testimony of Medical Providers

         The trial court allowed testimony from five medical providers concerning statements that Bagnell made to them during the course of treatment.

         Nurse Gay was the first person to speak with Bagnell. Gay testified that when she asked Bagnell how he was injured, Bagnell told her that "his girlfriend had beaten him up, and that he'd had a no-contact order with that individual." Gay testified that when she asked Bagnell why his neck had a "ring mark around the back of [it], " Bagnell told her that "his girlfriend had ... tried to strangle him with his sweatshirt and had pulled the sweatshirt so hard, it had left this permanent ring around the back of his neck." Gay clarified during cross-examination that Bagnell had not used the word "strangled."

         Dr. Britt, the emergency room doctor who treated Bagnell, testified that when he asked Bagnell what happened, Bagnell responded that he had been imprisoned in his home for two days:

[Dr. Britt]: The patient did state that he had been in his home for two days, that he had been imprisoned, or at least held in his home against his will. He did state that he hadn't really eaten in a couple of days. He wasn't allowed to talk to his family.
[State]: And did he tell you about how he sustained his injuries?
[Dr. Britt]: He said that he was hit with fists, that he had been bitten in a couple of places and that he had been hit with a broom.

         After Bagnell was medically cleared at about 9:00 p.m., an emergency room social worker named Jemina Skjonsby met with him. Skjonsby testified that when she asked him why he felt okay to return home, Bagnell told her "[t]hat he was relieved that this person had been removed from the ...


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