Earlier this week, Seattle residents were shocked and saddened by the seemingly-random shootings that left five people dead. With those fatalities, Seattle's homicide rate in the first half of 2012 jumped to 21, the same number of deaths during all of 2011 and two more than in 2010.
Earlier this week, we began a discussion of special injury judge proceedings, a process in Washington state wherein judges consider evidence, hear testimony and issue subpoenas, usually without the knowledge of the suspect or the criminal defense attorneys in the case.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Washington, you likely believe that any information gathered by police investigators about you will be done through a lawfully-acquired and executed search warrant. However, there is another process for gathering information about a suspect that is largely unbeknownst to many defendants and criminal defense attorneys in Washington. Known as 'special inquiry judge proceedings,' these processes are similar to grand juries - except without a grand jury.
Although sleepwalking seems like an uncommon affliction, most Kent residents probably know someone who sleepwalks on a regular basis. According to statistics from the National Sleep Foundation, up to 15 percent of Americans engage in sleepwalking. Further, in a recent survey of 16,000 adults across the U.S., nearly 30 percent stated that they had sleepwalked at least once in their lives.
A Washington couple has been found not guilty of murder in connection with the death of their son in 2009. However, they may face another trial for three charges of manslaughter, on which the jury was unable to reach a verdict.
In the past decade, about 30 states have launched efforts to toughen up their laws by listing strangulation, or more specifically "non-fatal choking," as a felony offense. Previously, state domestic violence laws had classified strangulation as an assault or battery crime, resulting in inconsistent prosecution and punishment. Now, however, many states have passed laws that make it a felony, under certain circumstances, to knowingly impede someone's breathing.
The city of Seattle has filed a motion seeking the dismissal of a civil lawsuit against the city and two of its police officers. In the motion, the city denies that the officers used excessive force during the investigation of a 2010 robbery, and states that the discriminatory comments made by the officer during the arrest was intended to control the suspect, not to offend him.
Two Seattle men are facing multiple criminal charges after allegedly calling the police and reporting that their car had been stolen. However, there was one fairly significant problem with their story: when police arrived, they found the men actually sitting in the car that they had reported missing.
A year-long investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Washington mother who is accused of putting eye drops containing bleach into her young daughter's eyes. Now, the mother is facing criminal assault charges for allegedly blinding her daughter, who has since been living with her father.