State v. Janes

121 Wn. 2d 220 (1993)

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State v. Janes

Washington Supreme Court
121 Wn. 2d 220 (1993)

  • Written by Haley Gintis, JD

Facts

In 1978, Walter Jaloveckas moved into the home Gail Janes (Gail) shared with her two sons. Gail’s son, Andrew Janes (Andrew) (defendant) was seven years old at the time. For ten years, Jaloveckas physically abused Andrew. On August 30, 1988, Jaloveckas received news that a friend had been arrested and began yelling. At one point in the evening, Jaloveckas entered Andrew’s room to speak to him. Andrew was later unable to recall the conversation, but Gail later testified that Jaloveckas had used a threatening tone. The next morning, one of Andrew’s friends stopped by the house before school. Andrew showed his friend a loaded shotgun and stated that he was going to shoot Jaloveckas. Andrew’s friend later stated that Andrew had frequently made similar threats. Andrew and his friend then went to school, where Andrew smoked marijuana and attended only a few classes. Andrew left school early and returned home. At 4:30 p.m., Jaloveckas returned home from work. Andrew then fatally shot Jaloveckas twice in the head. When the police arrived at the scene, Andrew began firing shots at the officers. The State of Washington (plaintiff) prosecuted Andrew for homicide. At trial, several expert witnesses testified that Andrew was suffering from battered-child syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder. Based on the testimony, Andrew claimed he acted in self-defense and did not have the capacity to premediate or form intent. The trial court refused to give the jury a self-defense instruction on the ground that too much time had passed between the evening and the time Andrew shot Jaloveckas. The trial court concluded that because of the passage in time, Andrew could not have subjectively believed himself to have been in imminent danger, which is required for a claim of self-defense. Andrew was convicted of second-degree murder. Andrew appealed. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the trial court erred by not giving a self-defense instruction. The matter was appealed again.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Durham, J.)

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