12/8/2016Washington Appeals Court Convicts Kiddie Pool Motorcyclist
Conviction upheld for speeding motorcyclist caught in a failed attempt to hide his bike under a kiddie pool.
Washington state's second highest court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of a speeding motorcyclist who attempted to get away from police by hiding his vehicle under a children's swimming pool. At around 8 in the morning on July 21, 2014, Guy Milton Sample III was riding on a silver motorcycle with his wife on State Route 507 in Roy. A local police officer, Tillman Atkins, saw an opportunity to write a traffic citation.
Officer Atkins activated his lights and siren, but the motorcycle kept going. The patrol car was no match for the two-wheeler that abruptly turned around and sped out of sight at over 100 MPH. Realizing he had no chance of catching up, Officer Atkins called off the pursuit without much to go on to identify the driver beyond the motorcycle's color, that its rider was wearing a leather jacket and that there was a woman wearing a striped sweatshirt on the back.
After running for less than five minutes, by the court's account, Sample pulled over near a stranger's house and hid his motorcycle, his jacket and two helmets under a kiddie pool. Sample's wife, Marie Collins, decided to walk into town while Sample went to get a pickup truck to retrieve his bike later.
Officer Atkins was still on the lookout for suspects when he spotted her striped sweatshirt walking away from State Route 507 on 320th Street. He flagged Collins down, noted she had messy hair and was "shaky and upset." The next break in the case came around 1pm when a startled homeowner called 911 to report a motorcycle under the kiddie pool near 320th Street.
The officer went to the scene to find a motorcycle and equipment that matched what he had witnessed earlier in the day. Inside the leather jacket there was a ticket with Sample's name on it, and the motorcycle was registered to Sample. As a tow truck arrived to take the vehicle away, Sample drove up in a pickup truck, only to slowly turn and drive away after noticing the assembled crowd. Officer Atkins pursued and nabbed Sample after a short foot chase.
A jury found Sample guilty of eluding police and resisting arrest. The judge imposed a hefty sentence because some prior convictions gave him an "offender score" of nine, the worst possible. Sample attempted to argue the evidence identifying him as the motorcycle rider was insufficient, but the three-judge panel shrugged off the assertion.
"The state presented ample circumstantial evidence that Sample was the driver of the motorcycle," Judge Bradley A. Maxa wrote for the appellate judges.
The decision then recited all the evidence in detail. It was not all bad news for Sample on Tuesday, however. After the appellate judges noticed the trial court failed to properly receive evidence of Sample's criminal history, the three-judge panel ordered a resentencing hearing.
A copy of the unpublished ruling is available in a 130k PDF file at the source link below.