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State v. McNeal - 98 Wash. App. 585, 991 P.2d 649 (1999)

Rule:

A criminal defendant convicted by a jury on one count of a criminal accusation cannot attack that conviction because it is inconsistent with the jury's verdict of acquittal on another count.

Facts:

Defendant John K. McNeal crossed the center line while driving his automobile resulting in a head-on collision, killing a passenger in the oncoming vehicle. Defendant was subsequently convicted for vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Defendant appealed his convictions for vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, claiming they were inconsistent. The jury found defendant was not under the influence of drugs when he was operating the motor vehicle at the time of the accident. But the jury also found that he was under the influence of drugs when he assaulted another victim in the same accident. On appeal, the court affirmed defendant's convictions since he was precluded from attacking the inconsistent verdicts and there was sufficient and substantial evidence to convict on both counts. 

Issue:

Can a criminal defendant convicted by a jury on one count of a criminal accusation attack that conviction because it is inconsistent with the jury's verdict of acquittal on another count?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The court affirmed defendant's conviction for vehicular homicide and vehicular assault since there was sufficient evidence to support the convictions despite the inconsistent jury verdicts. The court affirmed defendant's conviction for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

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