Katie Kauffman won a not-guilty verdict this week for a client charged with vehicular assault, a Class B felony that carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Kauffman’s client, who has no criminal history, likely would have received a much shorter sentence had he been convicted but a conviction would have cost him his job as a commercial driver.
While the Clark County Superior Court jury acquitted Kauffman’s client, they returned a guilty verdict for a co-defendant whom Kauffman argued was the one at fault even though he escaped unscathed from the 2018 traffic accident.
Kauffman was assisted at trial by attorney Gregger Highberg. The trial lasted four days. Jurors deliberated approximately three hours before reaching the verdicts on Feb. 13.
The charges stemmed from a Sept. 14, 2018, accident on Interstate 205. Kauffman’s client testified he was driving home from work in his 2003 Acura RSX. When he entered the northbound on-ramp to I-205 from westbound Padden Parkway there was a large red truck – a Dodge Ram 3500 -- following too close.
As he told Washington State Patrol officers who investigated the accident, he told jurors he tapped his brakes twice to try and signal to the truck driver to back off. Witnesses testified that not only did the truck driver not back off, he tried going around the Acura to pass it on the shoulder of the one-lane on-ramp.
Kauffman’s client said he felt as though he was being forced off the road. He lost control of his Acura. His sedan flew through the wooded median onto I-205, where it was hit by a northbound motorcyclist.
Attorney Zeed Meyer won a not-guilty verdict on Jan. 22 in Clark County District Court for a client accused of assaulting his estranged father.
Meyer’s client called 911 on July 18 to report that his father had punched him in the face and broke his nose. Three officers from the Vancouver Police Department responded and determined the client was the aggressor after questioning the client, his father and his father’s long-term girlfriend.
The client was arrested for assault in the fourth degree, domestic violence. The gross misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to one year in jail.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.