Cane Frahm's vehicle rear-ended another vehicle which
caused it to lose control. It became disabled in the roadway.
Frahm did not stop. A third vehicle struck the disabled
vehicle, which resulted in the death of a Good Samaritan.
appeals from his convictions for vehicular homicide,
vehicular assault, hit and run, false reporting, and
conspiracy to commit perjury. Frahm argues he received
ineffective assistance of counsel, and that insufficient
evidence supports his vehicular homicide and conspiracy to
commit perjury convictions. He also raises four assertions in
his statement of additional grounds (SAG). We affirm.
before dawn on December 7, 2014, a Ford F-150 truck driven by
Frahm rear-ended a Honda CR-V sport utility vehicle (SUV)
driven by Steven Klase. The impact caused the SUV to spin out
of control, strike a concrete barrier in the freeway median,
and come to rest partially blocking the left and middle lanes
of I-205. Klase sustained serious injuries and remained in
his vehicle. Frahm fled the scene.
eyewitness, Richard Irvine, stopped his vehicle on the right
shoulder. Irvine activated his vehicle's emergency
flashers, exited his vehicle, and crossed the freeway on
foot. Seeing Klase's injuries, Irvine called 911. While
Irvine spoke with a 911 dispatcher, a Honda Odyssey minivan
driven by Fredy Dela Cruz-Moreno approached in the left lane.
Cruz-Moreno's minivan struck Klase's vehicle and
propelled it into Irvine. As a result, Irvine died.
that same day, Frahm, the registered owner of the F-150,
contacted police to report his vehicle as stolen. When the
police later recovered Frahm's truck, it had front end
police processed the vehicle, and Frahm's DNA
(deoxyribonucleic acid) matched DNA taken from the deployed
airbag. The police interrogated Frahm, and he maintained both
that his truck had been stolen and that he had not been
driving at the time of the accident.
February 2015, a witness, Dusty Nielsen, contacted the
police. Nielsen provided an alibi for Frahm for the time of
the accident. Nielsen lied. Frahm had not been with Nielsen
the night of the accident. The two men did not know each
other until they met in jail, after the accident. When
questioned by police about discrepancies in his story,
Nielsen recanted. He insisted that he alone came up with the
idea to provide the false alibi.
State charged Frahm with six crimes: vehicular homicide,
manslaughter in the first degree, vehicular assault, hit and
run, false reporting, and conspiracy to commit perjury in the
trial, and without objection, the State played an unredacted
recording of Frahm's interrogation by the police. During
the interrogation, the police repeatedly accused Frahm of
lying. Frahm admitted to drinking the night before the
accident but iterated that somebody stole his truck, and that
he was not the driver at the time of the accident.
jury convicted Frahm of vehicular homicide, vehicular
assault, hit and run, false reporting, and conspiracy to
commit perjury. The court imposed a standard range
sentence. Frahm appeals.
Sufficiency of the Evidence
State has the burden to prove every element of every crime
charged beyond a reasonable doubt. U.S. Const. amend. XIV,
§ 1; In re the Matter of Winship, 397 U.S. 358,
362-64, 90 S.Ct. 1068, 25 L.Ed.2d 368 (1970). Evidence is
sufficient if, when viewing the evidence in the light most
favorable to the State, "'any rational trier of
fact could have found the essential elements of the
crime beyond a reasonable doubt.'"
State v. Green, 94 Wn.2d 216, 221, 616 P.2d 628
(1980) (quoting Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307,
319, 99 S.Ct. 2791, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979)). "A claim of
insufficiency admits the truth of the State's evidence
and all inferences that reasonably can be drawn
therefrom." State v. Salinas, 119 Wn.2d 192,
201, 829 P.2d 1068 (1992).
Sufficient Evidence Supports the Vehicular Homicide
argues that the evidence did not support the jury's
finding that his actions proximately caused Irvine's
death. Frahm asserts that Irvine's acts of stopping his
car and crossing the freeway to render aid to Klase
constituted a superseding, intervening cause. In a separate
SAG, Frahm also argues that the secondary collision between
Cruz-Moreno's minivan and Klase's disabled SUV also
broke the causal chain as a superseding cause. We disagree.
driver is guilty of vehicular homicide "[w]hen the death
of any person ensues within three years as a proximate result
of injury proximately caused by the driving of any vehicle by
any person." RCW 46.61.520(1).
causation, "'involves a determination of whether
liability should attach as a matter of law given the
existence of cause in fact. If the factual elements of the
tort are proved, determination of legal liability will be
dependent on 'mixed considerations of logic, common
sense, justice, policy, and precedent.'" State
v. Bauer, 180 Wn.2d 929, 936, 329 P.3d 67 (2014)
(internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Hartley v.
State, 103 Wn.2d 768, 779, 698 P.2d 77 (1985)).
defendant's conduct is a "'proximate cause'
of harm to another if, in direct sequence, unbroken by any
new independent cause, it produces the harm, and without it
the harm would not have happened." State v.
Meekins, 125 Wn.App. 390, 396, 105 P.3d 420 (2005). A
defendant need not be the sole cause of the harm to be held
responsible. However, a defendant's ...