Blog

Legal news and analysis from the largest criminal defense firm in Southwest Washington, Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.

Anderson gets another "third strike" dismissed

Prosecutors dismissed a potential “third strike” case this month that attorney Neil Anderson had been preparing to take to trial.

A Clark County deputy prosecutor acknowledged at a Jan. 2 pre-trial hearing that she did not have enough evidence to prove her case beyond a reasonable doubt. She dismissed a charge of second-degree kidnapping domestic violence, a felony.

Had Anderson’s client been convicted, he would have faced a mandatory sentence of life in prison under the state’s “three strikes and you’re out” law for serious, violent crimes.

Anderson’s client was arrested by Vancouver police officers on Nov. 1 and booked into the Clark County Jail, where he remained – unable to afford to post bail – for two months until his case was dismissed.

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Spencer wins acquittal in DV assault

Attorney Marina Spencer won a trial this week for a client accused of domestic violence assault.

A jury deliberated approximately 25 minutes before delivering the not-guilty verdict Nov. 6 in Clark County District Court.

Assault in the fourth degree, a gross misdemeanor, is punishable by up to one year in jail.

In May, the alleged victim called 911 and said she’d been assaulted by her boyfriend. She told responding deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office that she and our client got into an argument over a marijuana grinder.

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Anderson wins assault trial

Attorney Neil Anderson won a misdemeanor assault trial this week for a client accused of hitting a stranger with a metal rod.

Jurors deliberated about 30 minutes on Oct. 16 in Clark County District Court before returning the “not guilty” verdict.

The client was convicted of misdemeanor bail jump for missing a scheduled pre-trial hearing. He received credit for the time he spent in jail following his arrest.

Had he been convicted of assault, he faced up to one year in jail.

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New attorney wins assault, malicious mischief trial

New attorney Isabelle Askanas won a trial Sept. 13 in Clark County District Court, only a month after receiving her Washington state bar license.

Her client was arrested March 30 after a neighbor in his complex called 911 to report he could hear people screaming and crying in the apartment, specifically a woman yelling at a man to get out.

The client, 47, was accused of grabbing his fiancée’s 20-year-old niece during an argument, threatening to kill her and destroying her cell phone. He was charged with fourth-degree assault, harassment and malicious mischief in the third degree.

The harassment charge was dismissed before trial by an assistant Vancouver city attorney, who acknowledged the alleged victim was not going to show up and testify. He would have needed her testimony to prove she was threatened by the client.

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Meyer wins another assault trial

Attorney Zeed Meyer won another domestic violence assault trial, this one involving a father accused of punching his adult son.

Jurors deliberated for one hour before unanimously finding Meyer’s client not guilty of fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

During the Aug. 8 trial in Clark County District Court, Meyer’s client, the alleged victim and the alleged victim’s husband each gave jurors a different version of what happened on Sept. 30, 2018. Meyer’s client had been staying with his son and son-in-law.

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Meyer wins domestic violence assault trial

Attorney Zeed Meyer’s client was recently acquitted of domestic violence assault in Clark County District Court.

Meyer said the jury deliberated approximately 90 minutes before returning a not-guilty verdict at the end of a daylong trial July 10.

At the time of the alleged assault, Meyer’s client was separated from his wife and mother of two daughters. His wife and children were staying with his parents, and he stopped by the residence to say goodnight to daughters. His youngest daughter said she wanted to go home with him, and so he took her home.

His wife, after agreeing to the arrangement, called him and they got into a fight about an unpaid bill. She told him she wished he was dead, and then drove to the family home. She called 911 and claimed that her estranged husband had struck her in the face at the front door. Officers who responded noted that one of her cheeks appeared red.

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Client acquitted of assault, malicious mischief charges

Attorney Neil Anderson won a trial July 5 in Clark County District Court for a client charged with assault in the fourth degree and malicious mischief in the third degree.

The client was arrested April 10 after he tried to retrieve a cell phone that had belonged to his late brother, who had died approximately three weeks earlier. His brother had always allowed him to use the phone, he testified.

He told jurors he asked his late brother’s girlfriend for the phone and she refused to give it to him. The two were roommates at the time, and he went into her bedroom to get the phone. The alleged victim testified that he moved her out of the way to try and get into the bedroom. When she called 911 on April 10, she said she’d been thrown to the ground.

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Barrar wins not-guilty verdicts in DV trial

Attorney Jeff Barrar won a domestic violence trial this week in Clark County District Court for a father accused of assaulting his adult daughter and punching a hole in a wall.

The client was charged with fourth-degree assault and third-degree malicious mischief, both gross misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail.

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Anderson, Hawke get "third strike" dismissed

Attorneys Neil Anderson and Whitney Hawke succeeded this week in getting a client’s “third strike” assault case dismissed after spending months gathering evidence showing the alleged victim was not credible.

A Clark County deputy prosecuting attorney, finally conceding he had an unwinnable case, filed a motion to dismiss the charge of assault in the second degree. A Superior Court judge signed the dismissal order on May 10, and the client was released from the Clark County Jail.

He’d been in jail since his September arrest. Trial had been set for later this month.

Under the state’s 1993 persistent offender law, better known as the “three strikes” law, the client faced a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole had he been convicted. The law, which was approved by voters, locks away prisoners for life after a third conviction for a violent felony.

The client, 51, has two strikes for second-degree assault convictions in 1990 and 2002.

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Rape conviction overturned due to prosecutorial misconduct

A Vancouver client’s 2017 convictions for raping his wife have been thrown out by the Court of Appeals.

In a 3-0 ruling, appellate judges cited prosecutorial misconduct as grounds for reversal, including a Clark County deputy prosecutor’s comments about anal sex she made during closing argument.

The client, who was represented at trial by attorney Neil Anderson, was convicted of second-degree rape and third-degree rape and sentenced to 12 years in prison. After his wife called 911 to report she’d been raped, responding police officers asked the client whether the sex with his wife had been consensual. The client said his wife didn’t say yes or no and “just laid there” but said it was normal for his wife to not actively participate.

At trial in Clark County Superior Court, the deputy prosecutor asked the client a lot of questions about whether it was hygienic to have anal sex before vaginal sex without cleaning himself in between.

The client said he was unaware it was not hygienic and that he and his wife had done it before.

During closing argument, the deputy prosecutor told the jury the defendant’s sexual practices were “not normal” and “gross.”

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Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.: Vancouver Defenders Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.
Vancouver Defenders