Washington v. Bluford (Majority)Annotate this Case
The Washington Supreme Court reaffirmed precedent that a trial court must consider whether such joinder will result in undue prejudice to the defendant. If it will, joinder is not permissible. The State charged Charles Bluford with one count of first degree robbery and one count of indecent liberties. The State later charged Bluford in a separate information with five more first degree robberies involving five new victims. Before trial, the State moved to join the two robberies accompanied by sexual offenses to the other five robberies, while Bluford moved to sever the five robberies from each other. The Court of Appeals held: (1) the trial court properly allowed joinder; (2) Bluford did not invite the trial court to erroneously deny his request for a lesser-included offense instruction on the indecent liberties charge; and (3) the State had not proved Bluford's prior New Jersey conviction for second degree robbery was factually or legally comparable to a most serious offense in Washington, so Bluford's persistent offender sentence was erroneously imposed. The Washington Supreme Court overruled certain Court of Appeals opinions that have departed from precedent, reversed Bluford's convictions, and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.