WA Supreme Court: Kidnapping Incidental to Robbery is Still Kidnapping.
Kidnapping is kidnapping is kidnapping, regardless of whether the kidnapping was only done as part of a robbery.
As applied to the facts of this case, we hold that the evidence presented was sufficient to support the lddnapping convictions. To prove kidnapping in the first degree, the State must show an intentional abduction with intent to facilitate the commission of any felony or flight thereafter. RCW 9A.40.020. Abduction can be proved in three ways; most relevant here is restraint by threat of deadly force. RCW 9A.40.010(1). Restraint, moreover, exists where a person's movement is restricted without consent in a way that interferes with his or her liberty. RCW 9A.40.010(6). Taldng the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, there is sufficient evidence of lddnapping here. Reed instmcted Berg to hold down Watts; Berg complied and held Watts at gunpoint on the ground for approximately 30 minutes. A jury could conclude that this established restraint. Berg restrained Watts by threat of deadly force, repeatedly threatening to kill Watts if he moved from the ground, and both men threatened to kill Watts if he contacted police. This proof of restraint by threat of death was sufficient for a jury to conclude an abduction occurred. Finally, Berg and Reed were in the process of stealing Watts's marijuana plants and other possessions when they engaged in this kidnapping conduct. A jury could conclude that Berg and Reed committed the kidnapping with an intent to facilitate the commission of a felony. Accordingly, we hold there was sufficient evidence for a jury to find all elements of kidnapping proved beyond a reasonable doubt.