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State v. Bingham

Washington Court of Appeals
40 Wash. App. 553 (1985)


Facts

Charles Bingham (defendant) met Leslie Cook on a bus. Cook was mentally handicapped and wanted to go to Sequim. Cook’s companion refused to go with her, and Bingham volunteered to go and help her get back home. Bingham and Cook got off the bus at Sequim and went to a grocery store and two residences. When they were done, Bingham asked for a ride back but was denied. Bingham said they would hitchhike and left. Cook was discovered raped and murdered by strangulation approximately a quarter mile from the last residence. The State of Washington (plaintiff) charged Bingham with aggravated first-degree murder. The prosecution presented expert testimony that causing death by strangulation required a person to exert substantial and continuous pressure on her windpipe for three to five minutes. The prosecution argued that this amount of time was sufficient to infer premeditation. The jury convicted Bingham, and he appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Worswick, C.J.)

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