WA Legal Roundup - Washington State Supreme Court
Beito raped and murdered a girl. The trial judge found facts predicate to the exceptional sentenced imposed. Those familiar with Blakely know that the jury is supposed to find facts predicate to an exceptional sentence. Unfortunately, the judge's hands were tied due to legislation not in line with Blakely. Thus, Beito must be sentenced to the standard range.
The real argument here is whether Beito stipulated to ANY sentence and additional findings. He did stipulate to the facts as pleaded in the information for purposes of sentencing range. However, the judge's finding that the crimes were closely related to each other isn't one found in the information.
JJs Jim Johnson and Fairhurst dissented based on the fact that Beito acknowledged that the trial court may impose a greater than standard range. However, this argument seems to go towards emotion rather than the clear mandate of Blakely.