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Washington v. Workman

Supreme Court of Washington
584 P.2d 382 (1978)


Lawrence Workman (defendant) and Steven Hughes (defendant) decided to rob a gas station while driving home from a night of entertainment. While both of their wives slept in the car, the defendants parked in an alley behind the station, took a rifle from the car, and loaded the rifle. The defendants also took from the car a gunny sack and a knit cap to use as masks. The defendants hid behind the station’s pay booth, trying to gather the nerve to carry through with the plan. The gas-station attendant went outside, saw the defendants, and called the police. An unmarked police car pulled up and parked across the street from the gas station. A second police car pulled into the alley behind the station. When the first police car pulled into the gas station, the defendants, who had decided not to commit the robbery, began to walk away. Both defendants claimed not to have seen the police cars before abandoning the planned robbery. The defendants were arrested. The rifle was recovered from under Hughes’s clothes. The defendants were charged with attempted first-degree robbery while armed with a deadly weapon. At separate trials, the defendants requested the trial court instruct the jury that abandonment of criminal purpose was an affirmative defense to the crime of attempt. The trial courts refused, and both defendants were convicted. On appeal, the defendants argued that the trial courts erred by refusing to give the requested instruction on abandonment of criminal purpose.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Horowitz, J.)

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