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State v. Delmarter

Supreme Court of Washington
618 P.2d 99 (1980)


Rodney Guy Delmarter (defendant) was observed by a pharmacist at a Warren’s Drug Store near the prescription counter walking around the shelves and magazine racks. The pharmacist then noticed Delmarter inside the pharmacy area crouched down on the floor near a camouflaged cash drawer containing about $1,800 where drugstore employees went to make change throughout the day. Immediately prior to Delmarter entering the pharmacy area, a drugstore employee had gone to the drawer to obtain change. Often, clerks would shout requests for change from one end of the store to the pharmacy area. When the pharmacist confronted Delmarter near the cash drawer, a struggle ensued and Delmarter fled with two companions. Delmarter was charged with simple assault and first-degree attempted theft. At trial Delmarter testified that he went to the drugstore to buy cough syrup, placed his change on the pharmacy counter, and some of it rolled off the counter onto the floor inside the pharmacy area. Delmarter was convicted of simple assault and first-degree attempted theft. After the jury returned its verdict, Delmarter moved for a new trial and/or to reduce the conviction to attempted theft in the third degree. Both motions were denied. Delmarter appealed only the first-degree attempted theft conviction. The court of appeals affirmed the conviction and Delmarter appealed to the Supreme Court of Washington.

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Holding and Reasoning (Dolliver, J.)

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Dissent (Williams, J.)

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