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State v. Pacheco

Supreme Court of Washington
882 P.2d 183 (1994)


Facts

Herbert Pacheco (defendant) boasted to Thomas Dillon, his coworker, about his involvement in criminal activities, including performing hits. Dillon learned that Pacheco was a deputy sheriff and contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), volunteering to inform on Pacheco. Law enforcement devised a plan in which Dillon called Pacheco and asked to meet to discuss a deal. Pursuant to the plan, Dillon offered to pay Pacheco to offer protection during a drug deal. Pacheco agreed. Later, Dillon told Pacheco that he had been cheated out of money during the deal and asked Pacheco to handle the situation. Pacheco offered to kill the buyer. Pacheco was to call the buyer down to a motel lobby and shoot him. Pacheco went to the lobby with a loaded gun but did not call the buyer down. As Pacheco left the motel, he was arrested. Pacheco was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, and two counts of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance. Under Washington’s conspiracy statute, a person is guilty of conspiracy when: (1) with the intent that conduct constituting a crime be performed, the person agrees with one or more persons to engage in the conduct, and (2) any one of the persons takes a substantial step in furtherance of the agreement. The jury acquitted Pacheco of attempted murder but convicted Pacheco on all other counts. Pacheco appealed, arguing that he had not committed conspiracy, as no genuine bilateral agreement existed between Pacheco and Dillon as required by the conspiracy statute.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Johnson, J.)

Dissent (Durham, J.)

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