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November 13, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Court reinstates kidnapping convictions in 2009 pot robbery

OLYMPIA — The Washington Supreme Court has reinstated kidnapping convictions for two Portland men who robbed a medical-marijuana grow house in 2009 and then shot a Vancouver police officer as they fled.

Daylan Berg and Jeffery Reed broke into the home of Albert Watts and held him at gunpoint in April 2009. When Sgt. Jay Alie pulled over their fleeing car, Reed, the driver, lunged out of the way as Berg shot the officer in the chest. The bullet struck Alie’s ballistic vest, and he was only mildly injured.

The two defendants were sentenced to more than 62 years in prison for attempted murder, robbery, kidnapping and other charges, but the state Court of Appeals reversed their kidnapping convictions. The appeals court held that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict them of kidnapping because holding Watts at gunpoint was simply a part of the robbery, rather than a separate crime.

But the state Supreme Court unanimously overturned that ruling Thursday. The justices said their actions met the definition of kidnapping.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Supreme Court

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