State v. Nyutu, 041918 WACA, 34936-5-III

Docket Nº:34936-5-III
Party Name:STATE OF WASHINGTON, Respondent, v. MARK NJORGE NYUTU, Appellant.
Judge Panel:I CONCUR: Korsmo, J. SIDDOWAY, J. (concurring in result)
Case Date:April 19, 2018
Court:Court of Appeals of Washington




No. 34936-5-III

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 3

April 19, 2018



Mark Njorge Nyutu appeals after his conviction for second degree assault. He argues that the trial court erred by admitting his custodial statements without adequate proof that the arresting officer provided proper Miranda1warnings. Mr. Nyutu did not raise this argument below. Because the claimed error is not manifest, we decline to review it and affirm Mr. Nyutu's conviction.


Faatuiolemoutu Laolagi was working as a bouncer at Stubblefields, a large bar in Pullman, Washington. All bouncers at Stubblefields wear a shirt that says "Stubblefields" on the front and "Staff on the back. Report of Proceedings (RP) at 116. Shortly before closing time at 2:00 a.m., Mr. Laolagi noticed Mr. Nyutu leaning up against the bar with his back, which is against bar policy. Mr. Laolagi approached Mr. Nyutu, moved him away from the bar, and told him he could not lean against the bar. Mr. Nyutu refused, and Mr. Laolagi told him he was a bouncer. Mr. Nyutu became upset and agitated, and began swearing at and threatening Mr. Laolagi. Several security cameras at the bar recorded portions of the incident.

Because Mr. Nyutu was making threats, Mr. Laolagi signaled other employees to come over and informed Mr. Nyutu that he had to leave the bar. DeMaundray Woolridge, another employee, came over to assist Mr. Laolagi. At the same time, Mr. Nyutu signaled one of his friends to come over. After a brief conversation, the employees began moving Mr. Nyutu down some stairs and out of the bar. Mr. Nyutu had a beer bottle in his left hand.

At this point, Mr. Nyutu swung at and punched Mr. Laolagi with his right hand and said, "man, I told you." RP at 164. Mr. Laolagi tackled him in response and the two men both went down. The beer bottle shattered at some point. Mr. Laolagi was on top of Mr. Nyutu, who continued to punch Mr. Laolagi in the head but now with the hand holding the beer bottle. Mr. Laolagi suffered substantial injuries to his head. Law enforcement officers arrived at the scene.

Officer Thomas Cornish conducted a preliminary investigation and determined there was probable cause to arrest Mr. Nyutu. Officer Cornish provided Miranda warnings to Mr. Nyutu, and Mr. Nyutu said he wanted to provide a statement. At...

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