State v. Frazier

Citation82 Wn.App. 576,918 P.2d 964
Decision Date12 July 1996
Docket NumberNo. 18084-7-II,18084-7-II
CourtCourt of Appeals of Washington
PartiesThe STATE of Washington, Appellant/Cross-Respondent, v. Jason FRAZIER, Respondent/Cross-Appellant.
Randall Keys, Silverdale, for appellant

Pamela Beth Loginsky, Kitsap Co. Deputy Pros. Atty., Port Orchard, for respondent.

HOUGHTON, Acting Chief Judge.

The State appeals a trial court's dismissal of residential burglary charges against Jason Frazier for preaccusatorial delay, arguing that only an intentional delay can justify dismissal. Because our Supreme Court has held that negligence by the State can justify dismissal, and because the record amply supports the trial court's determination that the State was negligent, and further, gave no credible justification for the delay, we affirm the dismissal. The State also appeals the trial court's denial of its motion for sanctions against defense counsel for refusing to agree to a continuance.

Because we find no abuse of discretion, we also affirm the denial of sanctions.


Between April 20 and June 5, 1992, a series of at least seven burglaries, most residential, was committed in Kitsap County. Some of the stolen items were weapons. On June 7, 1992, a tip lead to the discovery of some stolen guns in the possession of Glen Chandler. In the next several days, various individuals were implicated and confessions were obtained from most of those individuals.

On June 10, 1992, Frazier confessed to Kitsap County Sheriff's Deputy Ronald Trogdon to being involved in three residential burglaries while he was 17 years old. 1 On November 19, 1993, 17 months later, Frazier was charged as an adult with one of those burglaries. 2 Frazier moved to dismiss the charges based upon unjustifiable preaccusatorial delay, which denied him juvenile court jurisdiction, because he turned 18 years old in the interim. 3

On March 10, 1994, the trial court rendered its oral ruling, finding that the State had failed to provide a credible explanation for either the eight-week delay between Deputy Trogdon's completion of the report and its receipt by the juvenile court, or the eight-week delay between the prosecutor's receipt of the report and Frazier's eighteenth birthday. The trial court concluded that the State's delay was negligent and unjustified. The trial court went on, however, to balance the State's interest in prosecuting Frazier against Frazier's (and society's) interest in ensuring On March 15, 1994, the trial court entered the following findings of fact and conclusions of law, granting Frazier's motion to dismiss due to loss of juvenile court jurisdiction:

due process to persons accused of crimes. The trial court concluded that the State had not met its responsibility to provide Frazier "the full protection of the law" and, therefore, dismissed the case against Frazier.


In June of 1992, [ ] Deputy [ ] Trogdon was the lead detective in reference to the investigation of a series of burglaries occurring between April and June of 1992.


These burglaries involved as many as ten (10) juvenile suspects.


On June 10, 1992, Deputy Trogdon interviewed [Frazier], who confessed to committing three burglaries on June 5, 1992.


On June 15, 1992, Deputy Trogdon completed his comprehensive report on the entire series of burglaries and submitted it to the proper people for handling.


Deputy Trogdon's report included individual incident reports on all related burglaries and was organized under one case file number, CF5-5922, pursuant to the Uniform Crime Code numbering system.


Deputy Trogdon's report was placed in a manilla envelope, which listed the individual incident report numbers ... all [of] the juvenile suspects on the outside.


For reasons not explained by the State, the juvenile court did not receive this report, or any part of it, until August 18, 1992.


Pursuant to standard procedures, this report, or at least a part of it, was sent from juvenile court to the Victim[-]Witness Division of the Prosecuting Attorney's Office in Kitsap County on August 25, 1992, arriving there on September 1, 1992.


For reasons not explained by the State, it appears that no one in the Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney's Office looked at this report until mid-November of 1992, after [Frazier] had already turned eighteen (18) years of age on October 28, 1992.


About one year later, on November 19, 1993, [Frazier] was charged in Kitsap County Superior (adult) Court with Residential Burglary, one of the crimes to which he confessed on June 10, 1992.

On the basis of the foregoing Findings of Fact, the court [made] the following:



The court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties in this case.


[Frazier] is presumed to have been prejudiced by the State's having lost juvenile court jurisdiction over him.


The State is unable to provide any credible explanation for

the delay between the filing of the police report on June 15, 1992 and mid-November 1992, when a deputy prosecuting attorney appears to have first reviewed the report.


The unexplained delay between June 15, 1992 and mid-November 1992 was without justification.


The State was negligent in the discharge of its duties with regard to the handling of this case.


The State's interest in pursuing this prosecution consists of many factors; to wit:

(a) To prosecute those accused of crime and to hold people accountable for crimes;

(b) To guarantee that we are a just society, bearing in mind that the United States [C]onstitution places a primary value on individual freedom; and

(c) To see that the people are protected by the law and by due process, which includes the prompt adjudication of juveniles suspected of a criminal conduct.


[Frazier] is prejudiced by an adult prosecution by:

(a) The enormously greater period of incarceration he would face if incarcerated in the adult system than in the juvenile system; [and]

(b) Having to serve this time in the state prison system[.]


On balance, [Frazier] is prejudiced in this case to the point where this prosecution must be dismissed.

The trial court denied Frazier's motion to dismiss based At the March 9-10, 1994 hearing on Frazier's motion to dismiss, the trial court heard the following testimony supporting its findings and conclusions. Deputy Trogdon testified that he and Assistant Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Irene Asai discussed the fact that other suspects were involved in the investigation. On June 15, 1992, Deputy Trogdon sent his investigation report (about an inch thick) to the juvenile court. 5

upon collateral estoppel 4 and the State's motion for sanctions.

Deputy Trogdon testified that between the time the report was filed and early August 1992, at least two verbal requests were made for additional copies of the complete report, but he did not know who made the requests. Supervising Lieutenant Lutes testified that he received at least four verbal requests for copies of the file. He testified that such requests usually came from the prosecutor's office, but he was not sure who made these requests.

Supervising Lieutenant Lutes also indicated that deputy prosecutors generally made written requests when they wanted additional investigation to be done on a case. Asai also testified that written requests were made when more information was needed. Deputy Trogdon testified that the prosecutor's office made no requests for additional investigation in Frazier's case.

Carol Ann Zetzsche, a secretary with the Kitsap County juvenile court, testified that her department received the Maureen Morrow, the prosecutor's victim-witness specialist, testified that she usually transferred the cases to the deputy prosecutor within two days of receiving them from juvenile court. Deputy Trogdon's report was sent to the victim-witness division of the prosecutor's office on August 25, 1992, and was marked received September 1, 1992. The record does not show any other action on the report before Frazier's eighteenth birthday on October 28, 1992.

Frazier file on August 18, 1992. She entered the information on Frazier into the JUVIS computer system on August 25, 1992. Zetzsche testified that she usually enters the sheriff's reports into the system within five days of receiving them. After the reports were entered, someone from the prosecutor's office victim-witness division picked up the reports. She also testified that usually "a charging [came] back" from the prosecutor's office within 7 to 10 days from the time her office completed entry of the information.

Kymberly Knechtel was a deputy prosecutor in the juvenile division until November 12, 1992, and was the first deputy prosecutor assigned to Frazier's case. She testified about her priority scheme for the majority of her work. 6 Knechtel admitted that, to avoid inconsistency, her supervisor (Asai) had a "verbal policy" of attempting to coordinate files on multiple suspects in multiple crimes. 7 Knechtel also admitted that it was likely that she never made a charging decision in the Frazier case before leaving her employment with the prosecutor's office on November 12, 1992.

Asai testified that no charges were filed during deputy The trial court engaged Asai in a colloquy reciting the history of her office's treatment of the Frazier file: the office received the file September 1, 1992; the office requested more information from the sheriff's department on November 13, 1992 (Frazier had turned 18 on October 28); deputy prosecutor Jeff Wolf received an additional report on November 24, 1992; the office requested additional information from the sheriff on December 22, 1992; the office sent a second request for more information on January 22, 1993; the office made a note that there was "NO RESPONSE TO MEMOS," apparently indicating that the sheriff did not...

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  • State v. Castillo
    • United States
    • Washington Court of Appeals
    • September 17, 2015
    ...the following conclusions of law:1. Because "prejudice is presumed when juvenile court jurisdiction is lost," State v. Frazier, 82 Wn. App. 576, 587-588, 918 P.2d 964 (1996), [Miguel Castillo] was prejudiced by being subjected to adult jurisdiction, thereby violating his due process rights.......
  • State v. Gibson
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    • Washington Court of Appeals
    • November 9, 2009
    ...676, 726 P.2d 1024)). We do not review credibility determinations on appeal, leaving them to the fact finder. State v. Frazier, 82 Wash.App. 576, 589 n. 13, 918 P.2d 964 (1996) (citing Fisher Props., Inc. v. Arden-Mayfair, Inc., 115 Wash.2d 364, 369, 798 P.2d 799 (1990)). And we treat uncha......
  • State v. Barnes
    • United States
    • Washington Court of Appeals
    • November 16, 2010
    ...812 P.2d 527 (1991)). We do not review credibility determinations on appeal, leaving them to the fact finder. State v. Frazier, 82 Wash.App. 576, 589 n. 13, 918 P.2d 964 (1996) (citing Fisher Props., Inc. v. Arden-Mayfair, Inc., 115 Wash.2d 364, 369-70, 798 P.2d 799 (1990)). And we treat un......
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    • August 13, 1999
    ...and so, loss of access to juvenile jurisdiction has no bearing on whether a defendant receives a fair trial. See State v. Frazier, 82 Wash.App. 576, 918 P.2d 964 (1996) (no constitutional right to juvenile court jurisdiction, but preaccusational delay may violate due process under narrowly ......
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