Intimidating witness rcw
Court of Appeals: Holding that no official proceeding was pending at the time of the threat, the court reverses the intimidating a witness conviction. Defendant appeals a conviction of intimidating a witness.
Whether the complaining party was about to be called as a witness in an official proceeding within the meaning of RCW 9A.72.110.
The court further stated that the current pattern instruction's definition of “threat” matches the definition of “true threat” and that the definition meets the requirements for establishing the constitutional mens rea in harassment cases. The instruction directs jurors to consider foreseeability from the standpoint of a reasonable person in the position of the speaker. The case law establishes that true threats are to be distinguished from constitutionally protected speech, including not only statements made in jest and idle talk, but also political arguments.
Under this standard, whether a true threat has been made is determined under an objective standard that focuses on the speaker.
On November 18, Eric received in marked bills from the Seattle Police Department and turned the money over to Grubbe. Furthermore, strict construction requires that the court resolve all doubts against including borderline conduct. In light of the above rules of statutory construction, defendant argues that RCW 9A.72.110 has not been violated because, at the time the threat was made the defendant had no reason to believe that Eric was about to be called as a witness in an official proceeding. An "official proceeding" has been defined in RCW 9A.72.010 as "a proceeding heard before any legislative, judicial, administrative, or other government agency or official authorized to hear evidence under oath, including any referee, hearing examiner, commissioner, notary, or other person taking testimony or depositions;"  Numerous cases have held that an "official proceeding" begins, at the earliest, with the filing of a complaint.
Grubbe and Humphries were later arrested and Eric gave the police a written statement of the events surrounding the crime.
Accordingly, the committee incorporated the constitutional concepts into the instruction's final paragraph without directly referring to the legal term of art.a statement made in a context or under such circumstances wherein a reasonable person would foresee that the statement would be interpreted …
The pattern instruction does not use the term “true threat.” Instructing jurors using this term could unnecessarily confuse the issues by causing jurors to speculate about “false” threats.
Defendant was convicted of extortion in the first degree and intimidating a witness.
779, 789, 307 P.3d 771 (2013), review denied 179 Wn.2d 1021 (2014). The requirement, however, is not an essential element of a harassment statute. Allen, 176 Wn.2d 611, 628, 294 P.3d 679 (2013); State v.
Instead, the constitutional requirement of “true threat” merely defines and limits the scope of the essential threat element. This language incorporates the requirement that true threats be evaluated using an “objective standard that focuses on the speaker.” See, e.g., State v.
[to bring about or continue a strike, boycott, or other similar collective action to obtain property that is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group which the actor purports to represent]; [or]To be a threat, a statement or act must occur in a context or under such circumstances where a reasonable person, in the position of the speaker, would foresee that the statement or act would be interpreted as a serious expression of intention to carry out the threat rather than as something said in [jest or idle talk] [jest, idle talk, or political argument]. For directions on using bracketed phrases, see the Introduction to WPIC 4.20.
Select from among the bracketed phrases so as to use only those that apply to the particular case. A statement may constitute a threat even if it does not actually reach the victim. Hansen, 122 Wn.2d 712, 717–18, 862 P.2d 117 (1993)Use of the second bracketed phrase is proper in a prosecution under RCW 9.61.160, threatening to bomb or injure property.
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See the Comment to WPIC 86.02 (Threatening to Bomb or Injure Property—Elements).