State v. Gladstone, No. 39811

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Washington
Writing for the CourtHALE; HUNTER, C.J., FINLEY, ROSELLINI and NEILL, JJ., and DONWORTH; HAMILTON; McGOVERN
Citation474 P.2d 274,78 Wn.2d 306,42 A.L.R.3d 1061
Parties, 42 A.L.R.3d 1061 The STATE of Washington, Respondent, v. Bruce W. GLADSTONE, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 39811
Decision Date10 September 1970

Page 306

78 Wn.2d 306
474 P.2d 274, 42 A.L.R.3d 1061
The STATE of Washington, Respondent,
v.
Bruce W. GLADSTONE, Appellant.
No. 39811.
Supreme Court of Washington, En Banc.
Sept. 10, 1970.

Gordon, Honeywell, Malanca, Peterson & Johnson, Albert R. Malanca, Tacoma, for appellant.

[474 P.2d 275] Joseph D. Mladinov, Special Counsel to Pros. Atty., Tacoma (Ronald L. Hendry, Pros. Atty., Engene G. Olson, Chief Crim. Deputy Pros. Atty. and Edmund E. Lozier, Deputy Pros. Atty. on the brief) for State of Washington.

HALE, Justice.

A jury found defendant Bruce Gladstone guilty of aiding and abetting one Robert Kent in the unlawful sale of marijuana. Deferring imposition of sentence, the court placed defendant on probation. He appeals the order deferring sentencing contending that the evidence as a matter of law was insufficient to sustain a verdict of guilty. His point, we think, is well taken.

One who aids or abets another in the commission of a crime is guilty as a principal under RCW 9.01.030, which says:

Every person concerned in the commission of a felony, gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor, whether he directly commits the act constituting the offense, or aids or abets in its commission, and whether present or absent; and

Page 307

every person who directly or indirectly counsels, encourages, hires, commands, induces or otherwise procures another to commit a felony, gross misdemeanor or misdemeanor, is a principal, and shall be proceeded against and punished as such. The fact that the person aided, abetted, counseled, encouraged, hired, commanded, induced or procured, could not or did not entertain a criminal intent, shall not be a defense to any person aiding, abetting, counseling, encouraging, hiring, commanding, inducing or procuring him.

Gladstone's guilt as an aider and abettor in this case rests solely on evidence of a conversation between him and one Douglas MacArthur Thompson concerning the possible purchase of marijuana from one Robert Kent. There is no other evidence to connect the accused with Kent who ultimately sold some marijuana to Thompson.

When asked by Thompson--an agent of the police--where marijuana could be bought, the defendant did no more than name Kent as an individual who might be willing to sell some and draw a sketch of his location. There was no evidence whatever that the defendant had any association, understanding, agreement or arrangement, direct or indirect, tacit or express with Kent to aid or persuade him in any way in the sale of marijuana.

The conversation between defendant and Thompson occurred at defendant's residence. Douglas MacArthur Thompson, a 25-year-old student at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma and an employee of the Internal Revenue Service of the United States, had done some investigative work for the government. From time to time, the Tacoma Police Department engaged him to investigate the use, possession and sale of narcotics, principally marijuana, among college students. When working for the Tacoma Police Department, he operated under the control and direction of the department's narcotics detail.

Thompson testified that Lieutenant Seymour and Detective Gallwas of the narcotics detail asked him to attempt a purchase of marijuana from Gladstone. During the evening of April 10, 1967--between 10 and 11 o'clock--the two officers and Thompson drove in a police car to the vicinity

Page 308

of defendant's apartment. Thompson went to Gladstone's door alone, beyond the hearing and out of the sight of the two officers. He knocked at the door and Gladstone respondent. Thompson asked Gladstone if he would sell him some marijuana. Describing this incident, Thompson testified as follows:

Well, I asked--at the time Gladstone told me that he was--he did not have enough marijuana on hand to sell me any, but he did know an individual who had quite a sufficient quantity and that was very willing to sell and he named the individual as Robert Kent, or Bob Kent as he put it, and he gave me directions to the residence and he--due to the directions I asked him if, you know, if he could draw me a map and he did.

[474 P.2d 276] When Thompson said he asked Gladstone to draw the map for him, he added, 'I'm not sure whether he did give me the exact address or not, he told me where the residence was.' He said that Gladstone then with pencil and paper sketched the location of Kent's place of residence. Thompson had no prior knowledge of where Kent lived, and did not know if he might have marijuana or that he had ever possessed it.

The two officers then took Thompson to Kent's residence where marijuana was purchased. The actual purchase was made by Thompson directly from Kent while Officer Gallwas and Lieutenant Seymour stayed in the police car. Kent was subsequently arrested and convicted of selling Thompson approximately 8 ounces of marijuana--the very sale which defendant here was convicted of aiding and abetting.

That ended the prosecution's case. Even if it were accorded all favorable inferences, there appears at this point a gap in the evidence which we feel as a matter of law is fatal to the prosecution's cause. Neither on direct examination nor under cross-examination did Thompson testify that he knew of any prior conduct, arrangements or communications between Gladstone and Kent from which it could be even remetely inferred that the defendant had any understanding, agreement, purpose, intention or design to participate or engage in or aid or abet any sale of marijuana

Page 309

by Kent. Other than to obtain a simple map from Gladstone and to say that Gladstone told him Kent might have some marijuana available, Thompson did not even establish that Kent and the defendant were acquainted with each other. Testimony of the brief conversation and Gladstone's very crude drawing consisting of 8 penciled lines indicating where Kent lived constitute the whole proof of the aiding and abetting presented.

Except for the conversation between Gladstone and Thompson and the map, the state showed only that the officers and their informant, Thompson, went to Kent's residence, more than 3 or 4 blocks from where Gladstone lived, bought some marijuana from him and proved that it was the substance known scientifically as cannabis. Thus, at the close of its case in chief, the state had failed to show any connection or association whatever between Gladstone and Kent or even that they knew each other, and at that juncture a motion for dismissal would lie.

Defendant's proof did not aid the state's case either. Apparently relying on the strength of his defense rather than the weakness of the prosecution, defendant, at the close of the state's case in chief, proceeded to put on his defense without challenging the sufficiency of the evidence. At the conclusion of all the proof, the evidence still showed no more than a possible accommodation to someone who said he wanted to buy some marijuana, and no connection whatever between defendant and the seller. The gap in the evidence remained; the missing link was still missing.

Gladstone took the stand and testified that he had been a student at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma for 2 years and that he did not know the police informant, Douglas MacArthur Thompson, personally but had seen him on campus. Prior to the evening of April 10, 1967, he said, Thompson had never been in his home. As to Kent, the party whom he was accused of aiding and abetting, he said he had seen him between classes having coffee at the student union building, and perhaps had been in his company about 10 times altogether. He knew where Kent lived because once en route home in his car he had given Kent a

Page 310

lift from the student union building to the latter's house. On this singular occasion, Gladstone did not get out of the car. He said that he did not know that Kent used marijuana or kept it for sale to other people.

Describing the incidents of April 10, 1967, when Thompson came to his door, Gladstone's version of the event differed somewhat from Thompson's. He testified [474 P.2d 277] that Thompson asked him to sell him some pot and Gladstone said, 'No,' and:

A. Then he asked me if I knew Rob Kent and I said yes. Q. What did you tell him? A. I said yes, I knew Rob Kent, and he asked me if I knew where Rob Kent lived and I said that I didn't know the address, nor did I know the street upon which he lived, but I told him that I could direct him there. Q. And did he ask you to direct him? A. Yes, I started to explain how to get there and he asked me if I would draw him a map. Q. And did you do so? A. Yes, I did.

They then had a conversation as to the location of a vacant grocery store above which was an apartment occupied by several college students, and as to the location of a house having the address 1102 shown in the sketch. After that brief conversation, Thompson...

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31 practice notes
  • State v. J-R Distributors, Inc., J-R
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • July 27, 1973
    ...evidence that he aided and abetted his codefendant in the sale of the two magazines. In State v. Gladstone, 78 Wash.2d 306, 312--313, 474 P.2d 274, 278 (1970), quoting from Johnson v. United States, 195 F.2d 673 (8th Cir. 1952), we set forth the prerequisites to liability as an aider and ab......
  • State v. Titialii, No. 30187-3-II (WA 9/27/2005), No. 30187-3-II
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • September 27, 2005
    ...578-82, 14 P.3d 752 (2000); State v. Gallagher, 112 Wn. App. 601, 613-14, 51 P.3d 100 (2002), review denied, 148 Wn.2d 1023 (2003). 125. 78 Wn.2d 306, 474 P.2d 274 126. Gladstone, 78 Wn.2d at 311. 127. See, e.g., 4 Wharton's Criminal Law sec. 682, at 545-46 (Charles E. Torcia ed., 15th ed. ......
  • State v. Taplin, No. 1360--I
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • August 20, 1973
    ...at any time had 'advised, encouraged or counseled (Ms. Estill in) the perpetration of' the crime. See State v. Gladstone, 78 Wash.2d 306, 474 P.2d 274 (1970). Unless, as later pointed out, the state proved a person other than defendant committed the crime as a principal, the instruction wou......
  • Lowman v. US, No. 92-CF-238
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • September 30, 1993
    ...Morei or adopted essentially the same reasoning. I advert briefly to a few of the decisions. In State v. Gladstone, 78 Wash.2d 306, 474 P.2d 274 (1970), Gladstone gave a police informant the name of one Kent as an individual 632 A.2d 100 who would sell marijuana. He also provided directions......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
31 cases
  • State v. J-R Distributors, Inc., J-R
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • July 27, 1973
    ...evidence that he aided and abetted his codefendant in the sale of the two magazines. In State v. Gladstone, 78 Wash.2d 306, 312--313, 474 P.2d 274, 278 (1970), quoting from Johnson v. United States, 195 F.2d 673 (8th Cir. 1952), we set forth the prerequisites to liability as an aider and ab......
  • State v. Titialii, No. 30187-3-II (WA 9/27/2005), No. 30187-3-II
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • September 27, 2005
    ...578-82, 14 P.3d 752 (2000); State v. Gallagher, 112 Wn. App. 601, 613-14, 51 P.3d 100 (2002), review denied, 148 Wn.2d 1023 (2003). 125. 78 Wn.2d 306, 474 P.2d 274 126. Gladstone, 78 Wn.2d at 311. 127. See, e.g., 4 Wharton's Criminal Law sec. 682, at 545-46 (Charles E. Torcia ed., 15th ed. ......
  • State v. Taplin, No. 1360--I
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • August 20, 1973
    ...at any time had 'advised, encouraged or counseled (Ms. Estill in) the perpetration of' the crime. See State v. Gladstone, 78 Wash.2d 306, 474 P.2d 274 (1970). Unless, as later pointed out, the state proved a person other than defendant committed the crime as a principal, the instruction wou......
  • Lowman v. US, No. 92-CF-238
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • September 30, 1993
    ...Morei or adopted essentially the same reasoning. I advert briefly to a few of the decisions. In State v. Gladstone, 78 Wash.2d 306, 474 P.2d 274 (1970), Gladstone gave a police informant the name of one Kent as an individual 632 A.2d 100 who would sell marijuana. He also provided directions......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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