Appeals Court Dismisses One Charge In Wenatchee Walmart Incident
A woman convicted after hitting a 74-year-old man with her vehicle in the Wenatchee Walmart parking lot will have one of convictions removed on double jeopardy grounds.
The Washington Appeals Court in Spokane Thursday determined Kelly Gleason's convictions for assault in the second degree and vehicular assault amounted to the same crime and dismissed the vehicular assault case.
However, the reversal will not change Gleason's 15-month prison sentence.
The victim suffered a broken pelvis in the incident.
Police say Gleason intentionally stepped on the gas to hit the victim in the Walmart parking lot. The two had been engaged in an argument after the victim backed his into Gleason's vehicle.
Gleason claimed she was reaching toward the glove compartment to retrieve insurance information when her foot slipped from the brake, causing the vehicle to lurch forward.
The incident took place in 2021 and Gleason was convicted the following year.
The appeals court clarified its determination of double jeopardy in its opinion released Thursday.
"Under the facts presented at trial, the State’s vehicular assault charge alleged Ms. Gleason intentionally assaulted (the victim) through her driving, which was also necessarily reckless," the appeals court decision reads. "This was the functional equivalent of what the State needed to prove for its second-degree assault charge."
The appeals court noted that Chelan County prosecutors agreed with the double jeopardy claim and the need to dismiss the one charge.
"The parties agree vacation of the vehicular assault offense is an acceptable remedy...We therefore accept the State’s concession that Ms. Gleason’s vehicular assault conviction must be vacated on the basis of double jeopardy.”
The appeals court also vacated Gleason's $500 victim assessment fee.
The court noted that Gleason, now 38-years-old, was found to be “indigent”. The appeals court also acknowledged the legislature amended the victim penalty assessment, with the law now prohibiting courts from imposing a crime victim penalty assessment on defendants found to be “indigent”
Here Are The 4 Most Violent Cities In Washington State
Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals