State v. Studd, Nos. 65943-5

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Washington
Writing for the CourtALEXANDER; GUY, C.J., and DURHAM, SMITH, JOHNSON, TALMADGE, JJ., and DOLLIVER; MADSEN; SANDERS
Citation137 Wn.2d 533,973 P.2d 1049
PartiesSTATE of Washington, Petitioner, v. Keith Bennett STUDD, Respondent. State of Washington, Respondent, v. Lee Ernest Cook, Jr., Petitioner. State of Washington, Respondent, v. Daun Leon Bennett, Petitioner. State of Washington, Respondent, v. Raymond D. McLoyd, Petitioner. State of Washington, Petitioner, v. William Henry Ameline, Respondent. State of Washington, Petitioner, v. Vincent Lavelle Fields, Respondent.
Decision Date01 April 1999
Docket Number66108-1,65995-8,65999-1,65948-6,Nos. 65943-5,65956-7

Page 533

137 Wn.2d 533
973 P.2d 1049
STATE of Washington, Petitioner,
v.
Keith Bennett STUDD, Respondent.
State of Washington, Respondent,
v.
Lee Ernest Cook, Jr., Petitioner.
State of Washington, Respondent,
v.
Daun Leon Bennett, Petitioner.
State of Washington, Respondent,
v.
Raymond D. McLoyd, Petitioner.
State of Washington, Petitioner,
v.
William Henry Ameline, Respondent.
State of Washington, Petitioner,
v.
Vincent Lavelle Fields, Respondent.
Nos. 65943-5, 65948-6, 65956-7, 65995-8, 65999-1, 66108-1.
Supreme Court of Washington,
En Banc.
Argued June 16, 1998.
Decided April 1, 1999.

[973 P.2d 1051]

Page 537

George Ahrend, Spokane, for Respondent Studd.

Eric Broman, Eric Nielsen, Seattle, for Petitioner Cook.

Kelly Curtin, Seattle, for Petitioner Bennett.

Kimberly Gordon, Seattle, for Petitioner McLoyd.

Kimberly Gordon, Shannon B. Marsh, Stella S. Buder, Seattle, for Respondent Fields.

Clayton Dickinson, Fircrest, for Respondent Ameline.

Honorable Jim Sweetser, Spokane County Prosecutor, Kevin Korsmo, Deputy, Spokane, for Petitioner State.

John Ladenburg, Pierce County Prosecutor, Barbara Corey-Boulet, Deputy, Tacoma, Jim Krider, Snohomish County Prosecutor, Breck Marsh, S. Aaron Fine, Deputies, Everett, Norm

Page 538

Maleng, King County Prosecutor, Brian McDonald, Deputy, Seattle, for Respondent State.

ALEXANDER, J.

The principal question that is presented by these six consolidated appeals is the same: Whether a jury instruction that erroneously states the law of self-defense furnishes a basis for a new trial when the erroneous instruction is requested by the defendant. The defendants, all six of whom were convicted at a jury trial, each argue that it was not made clear to jurors that a defendant need not be in actual danger of imminent harm in order to act in self-defense against a perceived aggressor, provided the defendant reasonably believes himself to be in danger. We conclude that while it is error for a trial court to fail to make this standard clear in a jury instruction, such error does not furnish a basis for a new trial when the defendant invites the error by requesting the instruction. We, therefore, affirm the Court of Appeals in two cases where it upheld the conviction, recognizing that the error had been invited. We also affirm the Court of Appeals in another case where it held that requesting the erroneous instruction did not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel. We further affirm the Court of Appeals in two cases where it reversed the defendant's conviction due to the fact that the defendant's efforts to correct the error complained of were

Page 539

rebuffed by the trial court, and reverse it in a case where it failed to recognize that the error was invited.
FACTS

State v. Studd

Keith Studd killed David Castle with a single stab wound from a knife during a fight. Studd was thereafter charged in Spokane County Superior Court with second degree felony murder. At trial, Studd argued that he had stabbed Castle in self-defense because he feared that Castle was reaching for a weapon. Studd proposed two jury instructions on self-defense, which were given almost completely unchanged by the trial court. One of these instructions, which was taken verbatim from Washington Pattern Jury Instructions: Criminal § 16.02 (1994) (WPIC), read as follows:

It is a defense to a charge of murder that the homicide was justifiable as defined in this instruction.

Homicide is justifiable when committed in the lawful defense of the slayer when:

(1) The slayer reasonably believed that the person slain intended to inflict death or great personal injury;

(2) There was imminent danger of such harm being accomplished; and

(3) The slayer employed such force and means as a reasonably prudent person would use under the same or similar conditions as they reasonably appeared to the slayer, taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances as they appeared to him at the time of and prior to the incident.

The State has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the homicide was not justifiable. If you find that the State has not proved the absence of this defense beyond a reasonable doubt, it [973 P.2d 1052] will be your duty to return a verdict of not guilty.

Clerk's Papers (CP) at 130 (emphasis added). The other instruction was taken verbatim from WPIC 16.07 and it stated as follows:

Page 540

A person is entitled to act on appearances in defending himself, if that person believes in good faith and on reasonable grounds that he is in actual danger of great bodily harm, although it afterwards might develop that the person was mistaken as to the extent of the danger.

Actual danger is not necessary for a homicide to be justifiable.

CP at 132 (emphasis added).

Studd was convicted of second degree felony murder, and appealed. Following Studd's conviction this court concluded in another case that a jury instruction similar to WPIC 16.02 was erroneous in that it did not make clear to the jury that, in order to sustain the defense of self-defense the defendant must have a subjectively reasonable belief of imminent harm, as determined from the surrounding facts and circumstances. State v. LeFaber, 128 Wash.2d 896, 913 P.2d 369 (1996). Citing LeFaber, the Court of Appeals, Division Three, reversed Studd's conviction, holding that the self-defense instructions set forth above were in irreconcilable conflict and did not, therefore, accurately state the law of self-defense. State v. Studd, 87 Wash.App. 385, 389, 942 P.2d 985 (1997), review granted, 134 Wash.2d 1010, 954 P.2d 276 (1998). The State sought review, arguing that under the "invited error" doctrine Studd cannot complain about an instruction that he proposed. We granted review. In doing so, we consolidated this case with the five that are discussed hereafter.

State v. Cook

Lee Cook shot and killed Troy Robinson. Cook had been robbed at gunpoint by Robinson during the course of a drug transaction, and Cook argued that his subsequent shooting of Robinson was in self-defense. Cook was thereafter charged in Pierce County Superior Court with first

Page 541

degree murder and unlawful possession of a short firearm. 1 Cook proposed, and the trial court gave, self-defense instructions nearly identical to the two given in Studd above. Cook was convicted of second degree murder and appealed. The Court of Appeals, Division Two, affirmed Cook's conviction in an unpublished opinion. State v. Cook, No. 19020-6-II, slip op., 1997 WL 404059 (Wash.Ct.App. July 18, 1997). It held that the two self-defense instructions are "complementary, not contradictory" and that "read together, these instructions make the relevant legal standard manifestly apparent to the average juror." Cook, slip op. at 5. The Court of Appeals further held that Cook had also "invited the trial court to give the flawed instruction." Cook, slip op. at 6. Cook sought review, which we granted.

State v. Bennett

Daun Bennett stabbed his former girlfriend, JoLayne Boston, 14 times and then shot her with her own gun. State v. Bennett, 87 Wash.App. 73, 75-76, 940 P.2d 299 (1997), review granted by State v. Studd, 134 Wash.2d 1010, 954 P.2d 276 (1998). Boston survived the attack. Bennett was thereafter charged in Snohomish County Superior Court with first degree attempted murder while armed with a deadly weapon. Bennett contended that he had acted in self-defense in an altercation with Boston during which he had tried to take Boston's gun away from her. As in Studd and Cook, Bennett requested instructions identical to WPIC 16.02 and 16.07 and the trial court acceded to his request. Bennett was convicted as charged and appealed. The Court of Appeals, Division One, affirmed, holding that the invited error doctrine did not preclude the defendant from raising the instructional error claim, because Bennett raised it under the guise of ineffective assistance of counsel due to his trial counsel having proposed an erroneous self-defense instruction. It held, however, that Bennett had received effective counsel because the instructions, read as a whole,

Page 542

accurately stated the law on self-defense. Bennett sought review, and we granted it.

State v. McLoyd

Raymond McLoyd shot and killed Charles Blatchford. McLoyd claimed that he had [973 P.2d 1053] acted in self-defense in response to Blatchford's efforts to "car jack" his automobile. McLoyd was thereafter charged in King County Superior Court with first degree murder and second degree felony murder while armed with a deadly weapon. 2 Like the defendants in the preceding three cases, McLoyd requested, and the trial court provided the jury, instructions modeled on WPIC 16.02 and WPIC 16.07. McLoyd was convicted of committing second degree felony murder while armed with a deadly weapon. He appealed to the Court of Appeals, Division One, which affirmed his conviction. State v. McLoyd, 87 Wash.App. 66, 939 P.2d 1255 (1997), review granted by State v. Studd, 134 Wash.2d 1010, 954 P.2d 276 (1998). It held that although McLoyd had invited the error complained of by proposing an instruction based on WPIC 16.02, the invited error doctrine did not bar his challenge to the instruction because McLoyd had also proposed a clarifying instruction. However, the Court of Appeals concluded that when read together the instruction based on WPIC 16.07 cured any ambiguity that would arise from reading the instruction based on WPIC 16.02 alone. We granted discretionary review.

State v. Ameline

William Ameline killed Barbara Hunsaker by beating her with an iron pipe. Ameline argued that he had acted in self-defense, asserting that Hunsaker had demanded money from him and was threatening him with a knife. Ameline admitted that he buried Hunsaker's body in a remote area after attempting to make the killing look like the work of

Page 543

the "Green River Killer." Ameline was thereafter charged in Pierce County Superior Court with second degree...

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364 practice notes
  • Peterson v. Wash. State Dep't of Labor & Indus., No. 53885-7-II
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • April 20, 2021
    ...Rhodes , and has made clear that it does "not overrule ... binding precedent sub silentio ." State v. Studd , 137 Wash.2d 533, 548, 973 P.2d 1049 (1999). We are bound to follow Supreme Court precedent. 1000 Virginia Ltd. P'ship v. Vertecs Corp. , 158 Wash.2d 566, 590, 146 P.3d 423 (2006). T......
  • State v. Prado, No. 31275-5-III
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • January 8, 2015
    ...actions at least in part cause the error." State v. Summers, 107 Wn. App. 373, 381-82, 28 P.3d 780 (2001) (citing State v. Studd, 137 Wn.2d 533, 547, 973 P.2d 1049 (1999)), modified on reconsideration on other grounds, 43 P.3d 526 (2002). In this case, defense counsel elicited the testimony......
  • State v. Johnson, No. 66624–0–I.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • February 13, 2013
    ...18 (emphasis added). 35.City of Seattle v. Patu, 147 Wash.2d 717, 721, 58 P.3d 273 (2002) (quoting State v. Studd, 137 Wash.2d 533, 546, 973 P.2d 1049 (1999)). 36.Id. at 720, 58 P.3d 273. 37.State v. Bradley, 96 Wash.App. 678, 681–82, 980 P.2d 235 (1999). 38.See Patu, 147 Wash.2d at 721, 58......
  • In re Det. of Hatfield, No. 73662–1–I.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • November 23, 2015
    ...856 (2015) ; Lunsford v. Saberhagen Holdings, Inc., 166 Wash.2d 264, 280, 208 P.3d 1092 (2009) ; State v. Studd, 137 Wash.2d 533, 548, 973 P.2d 1049 (1999).Because "[w]e are not free to ignore controlling Supreme Court authority," Matia Contractors, Inc. v. City of Bellingham, 144 Wash.App.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
364 cases
  • Peterson v. Wash. State Dep't of Labor & Indus., No. 53885-7-II
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • April 20, 2021
    ...Rhodes , and has made clear that it does "not overrule ... binding precedent sub silentio ." State v. Studd , 137 Wash.2d 533, 548, 973 P.2d 1049 (1999). We are bound to follow Supreme Court precedent. 1000 Virginia Ltd. P'ship v. Vertecs Corp. , 158 Wash.2d 566, 590, 146 P.3d 423 (2006). T......
  • State v. Prado, No. 31275-5-III
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • January 8, 2015
    ...actions at least in part cause the error." State v. Summers, 107 Wn. App. 373, 381-82, 28 P.3d 780 (2001) (citing State v. Studd, 137 Wn.2d 533, 547, 973 P.2d 1049 (1999)), modified on reconsideration on other grounds, 43 P.3d 526 (2002). In this case, defense counsel elicited the testimony......
  • State v. Johnson, No. 66624–0–I.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • February 13, 2013
    ...18 (emphasis added). 35.City of Seattle v. Patu, 147 Wash.2d 717, 721, 58 P.3d 273 (2002) (quoting State v. Studd, 137 Wash.2d 533, 546, 973 P.2d 1049 (1999)). 36.Id. at 720, 58 P.3d 273. 37.State v. Bradley, 96 Wash.App. 678, 681–82, 980 P.2d 235 (1999). 38.See Patu, 147 Wash.2d at 721, 58......
  • In re Det. of Hatfield, No. 73662–1–I.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • November 23, 2015
    ...856 (2015) ; Lunsford v. Saberhagen Holdings, Inc., 166 Wash.2d 264, 280, 208 P.3d 1092 (2009) ; State v. Studd, 137 Wash.2d 533, 548, 973 P.2d 1049 (1999).Because "[w]e are not free to ignore controlling Supreme Court authority," Matia Contractors, Inc. v. City of Bellingham, 144 Wash.App.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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