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Washington Court of Appeals Upholds Civil Commitment’s Conviction for Assault

The Division II Court of Appeals for the State of Washington has affirmed the assault conviction of a civilly committed man.

Bob Pugh assaulted a King County Sheriff’s Department officer while he was being escorted from the McNeil Island Special Commitment Center to the King County jail.

Pugh tried to withdraw his guilty plea and argued that his standby counsel was ineffective for failing to obtain affidavits or a subpoena to support his motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

The court rejected both challenges. First, the court of appeals held that Pugh failed to adduce evidence showing that he was incompetent when he pled or that he was denied proper medications at the time of his guilty plea hearing. Second, the court held that Pugh could not claim ineffective assistance against standby counsel because standby counsel does not owe a defendant effective assistance of counsel.

See: Washington v. Pugh, 153 Wash.App. 569, 222 P.3d 821.

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Related legal case

Washington v. Pugh