Facts: After forcing Joseph Peterson to the floor during an altercation, causing Peterson to suffer minor injuries, petitioner James Marohl was convicted of second degree assault in the Superior Court for Mason County. Marohl subsequently appealed his conviction, asserting that the floor of the casino in which the altercation occurred was not an instrument or thing likely to produce bodily harm for purposes of establishing second degree assault under Washington Revised Code §9A.36.031(1)(d). The Washington Court of Appeals affirmed Marohl’s conviction. Marohl appealed this decision to the Supreme Court of Washington.
Question(s): Did Marohl commit second degree assault by using the floor as an instrument or thing likely to produce bodily harm?
Conclusion: Justice Sanders opinion for a unanimous Court reversed the Washington Court of Appeals and held that insufficient evidence existed to convict Marohl of second degree assault insofar as the floor could not be an instrument or thing likely to produce bodily harm given that under the circumstances of the case it was not likely to produce harm and was not used as a weapon.
Petitioner: James Michael Marohl
(Counsel: Thomas Edward Doyle)
Respondent: State of Washington
(Counsel: Edward P. Lombardo and Monty Dale Cobb)
Argument: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 2:30pm
[Source: TVW, http://tvw.org]
Audio: Washington Supreme Court
Decided: Thursday, December 30th, 2010
Prevailing Party: James Michael Marohl (Petitioner)
Court: Madsen1 Court (2010-2011)
Note: We post only slip opinion(s) as published at the time of the decision. Please consult Washington Reports printed volumes for the opinion(s) in their final form. Each opinion should appear next to the Justice who authored it.