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Under the Washington rule, a defendant is entitled to an instruction on a lesser included offense if two conditions are met. First, each of the elements of the lesser offense must be a necessary element of the offense charged. Second, the evidence in the case must support an inference that the lesser crime was committed.
Defendants Lawrence Dean Workman and Steven Lynn Hughes were convicted of attempted first-degree robbery while armed with a deadly weapon which was also a firearm. The judges at their separate trials ordered new trials on several grounds. The State appealed from these orders. Since the cases stem from the same events and present related issues, they were consolidated on this appeal.
Was the crime of unlawfully carrying a weapon an included offense of attempted first-degree robbery?
The court held that because the crime of unlawfully carrying a weapon, Wash. Rev. Code § 9.41.270, was an included offense of attempted first-degree robbery, Wash. Rev. Code §§ 9A.28.020 and 9A.56.200, both defendants were entitled to a jury instruction on included offenses. Failing to give an instruction on included offenses was reversible error as to both defendants even though one of the defendants failed to request the instruction. The court also held that because abandonment was not a defense to a crime of attempted robbery, at a new trial defendants would have been entitled to a jury instruction on the crime of attempt, particularly whether a substantial step was taken toward the commission of the robbery. Further, the state could not seek to invoke the provisions of Wash. Rev. Code § 9.41.025(1) because the enhanced punishment provisions of the Uniform Firearms Act were not applicable to attempted first-degree robbery. Finally, the court held that the application of the firearms act and Wash. Rev. Code § 9.95 regarding parole restrictions did not deny defendants equal protection.