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State v. Ollens

Supreme Court of Washington
733 P.2d 984 (1987)


Ollens (defendant) stabbed and killed William Tyler, a taxicab driver. Ollens was charged with aggravated first-degree murder. Prior to trial, Ollens moved to dismiss the charge, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to prove the necessary element of premeditation. Dr. Lacsina, the medical examiner, testified that Ollens struck Tyler from behind and that Tyler died from multiple stab wounds. The doctor stated that Tyler’s throat had been slit by more than one cut and that Tyler could have been alive for two to three minutes after infliction of the neck wound. There were also a number of defensive injuries, demonstrating that the two men struggled. The trial court concluded, based on State v. Bingham, 719 P.2d 109 (1986), that the use of a knife to inflict more than one injury, by itself, is not evidence of premeditation, but is only probative of a specific intent to kill. Based on this conclusion, the trial court dismissed the first-degree murder charge. The state appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Goodloe, J.)

Concurrence (Callow, J.)

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