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State v. Fowler

38 P.3d 335 (2002)

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State v. Fowler

Washington Supreme Court

38 P.3d 335 (2002)

Facts

Joshua Fowler (defendant) had no criminal history before he stayed up for three days drinking alcohol and doing methamphetamine. After leaving a bar, Fowler and some companions went to Ken Carroll’s apartment to collect a debt Fowler believed Carroll owed him. Fowler brought a gun and a knife. Fowler hit Carroll in the head with the gun, beat him, and threatened to cut him. Fowler also hit Carroll’s roommate in the face with the flat side of the knife and threatened to cut his throat. Fowler and his companions then took some items and money before leaving. Fowler later turned himself in and pled guilty to first-degree robbery. At sentencing, the trial court determined that the sentencing range for his offense was 31 to 41 months, plus a mandatory five-year firearm enhancement. Fowler requested an exceptional sentence of six months, asserting three mitigating factors. The trial judge did not find any of those factors but nonetheless imposed an exceptional 15-month sentence based on Fowler (1) having no violent or pertinent criminal history, (2) suffering from sleep deprivation, (3) exhibiting isolated aberrational behavior, (4) having strong family support, and (5) having low to moderate risk of reoffending. The state appealed the sentence, and the appellate court reversed. Fowler petitioned the Washington Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Alexander, C.J.)

Dissent (Madsen, J.)

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