State v. Pleasant, 6353-1-II

CourtCourt of Appeals of Washington
Citation38 Wn.App. 78,684 P.2d 761
Docket NumberNo. 6353-1-II,6353-1-II
PartiesThe STATE of Washington, Respondent, v. Jack Horst PLEASANT, Appellant.
Decision Date09 July 1984

Page 78

38 Wn.App. 78
684 P.2d 761
The STATE of Washington, Respondent,
Jack Horst PLEASANT, Appellant.
No. 6353-1-II.
Court of Appeals of Washington,
Division 2.
July 9, 1984.

Page 79

[684 P.2d 762] Richard L. Levandowski (court-appointed), Tacoma, for appellant.

Christine Quinn-Brintnall, Deputy Pros. Atty., Tacoma, for respondent.

PETRIE, Judge.

Defendant, Jack Pleasant, appeals the trial court's denial of his post-trial motions in arrest of judgment and for a new trial. This appeal stems from Pleasant's conviction of selling marijuana to a paid agent of the Tacoma Police Department and an officer of the Tacoma Police Department who were conducting a "sting" operation. On appeal, the defendant contends that he was wrongfully convicted and accordingly entitled to arrest the judgment because (1) the jury erroneously disregarded his entrapment defense, (2) the sting operation violated his right to due process, or, alternatively, (3) he was entitled to a new trial because newly discovered evidence after trial would have influenced the jury's consideration of his entrapment defense. We disagree and affirm the conviction.

In an effort to combat extensive drug traffic in the South Tacoma area, the Tacoma Police Department set up a sting operation to detect individuals engaged in drug sales. Tacoma Police Officer Loughrey and paid agent Caven rented a room at Nendel's Motel in South Tacoma for the ostensible purpose of recruiting workers for a construction crew. Caven posed as the owner of a construction company; Officer Loughrey acted as the foreman of the crew. Caven handed out cards in the area and indicated that he would be at Nendel's Motel accepting applications for employment on his construction crew. Seventeen convictions resulted from this sting operation.

[684 P.2d 763] Jack Pleasant, an unemployed construction worker with no previous convictions for drug offenses, went to the motel, obtained an application from Caven, filled it out, and submitted it. After Pleasant had handed in his application,

Page 80

Caven looked it over and wrote "possible employment" on it. He then asked Pleasant whether he could procure marijuana for him. Pleasant agreed to try to get marijuana for Caven and, within an hour, obtained a quarter pound of marijuana. Pleasant testified that he got marijuana for Caven to enhance the possibility of obtaining a job from him.

After Pleasant returned to Caven's motel room with the marijuana, Caven asked Pleasant if he could obtain an additional two pounds of marijuana for him. During a discussion about the details of this transaction, the police arrested Pleasant.

We consider first whether the trial court erred by denying Pleasant's post-trial motion in arrest of judgment based on his contention that the jury erroneously rejected his entrapment defense. He does not contest the trial court's jury instruction on the defense of entrapment.

The trial court did not err when it denied the defendant's motion in arrest of judgment. A motion in arrest of judgment challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to take the case to the jury. State v. Randecker, 79 Wash.2d 512, 487 P.2d 1295 (1971). An appellate court's only function is to determine whether the evidence is legally sufficient to support the jury's finding. In ruling on such a motion, we and the trial court must assume the truth of the State's evidence and view it most strongly against the defendant in a light most favorable to the State.

Here, viewing the evidence most favorably to the State, the jury could clearly have concluded that the defendant was predisposed to sell marijuana and thus was not entrapped into committing the crime by the instant sting operation.

Establishing the defense of entrapment involves making the factual determination that (1) government officials induced the defendant to commit the crime, and (2) the defendant lacked the predisposition to commit the crime. Because these are factual determinations, they fall within the province of the jury. State v. Keller, 30 Wash.App.


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23 cases
  • Dodge City Saloon, Inc. v. Wash. State Liquor Control Bd., 41454–6–II.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • May 15, 2012
    ...mandated by the due process clause.’ ” Rundquist, 79 Wash.App. at 794, 905 P.2d 922 (quoting State v. Pleasant, 38 Wash.App. 78, 82, 684 P.2d 761,review denied,103 Wash.2d 1006, 690 P.2d 1174 (1984)). “But no Washington decision has dismissed a prosecution for outrageous conduct by governme......
  • State v. Lively, 60389-8
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • August 29, 1996
    ...(10th Cir.1994) (quoting United States v. Mosley, 965 F.2d 906, 910 (10th Cir.1992)); see also State v. Pleasant, 38 Wash.App. 78, 83, 684 P.2d 761, review denied, 103 Wash.2d 1006, 690 P.2d 1174 This court relied on the plurality decision in Hampton v. United States, 425 U.S. 484, 96 S.Ct.......
  • State v. Markwart, 31158–9–III.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • July 3, 2014
    ...Wash.2d 1009, 290 P.3d 994 (2012); State v. Rundquist, 79 Wash.App. 786, 794, 905 P.2d 922 (1995); State v. Pleasant, 38 Wash.App. 78, 82, 684 P.2d 761 (1984). ¶ 27 The doctrine of outrageous police conduct must be sparingly applied and used only in the most egregious situations. Rundquist,......
  • State v. Vaile, 37943-4-III
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • May 11, 2023
    ...130 Wn.2d 1, 26 (1996). Dismissal based on outrageous conduct is reserved for only the most egregious circumstances. State v. Pleasant, 38 Wn.App. 78, 83, 684 P.2d 761 (1984). The defense of government misconduct is nearly impossible to establish. State v. Markwart, 182 Wn.App. 335, 348, 32......
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