The Seattle Times reported that about a man employed at a marijuana shop in Spokane County who was kidnapped at gunpoint while he was working in the store. The abduction occurred on a Sunday afternoon earlier this month from Lucid Marijuana, which is located in Cheney. According to witnesses, prior to the abduction “a male suspect entered the store but didn't have identification, so store employees wouldn't sell him product.” After this, “a female suspect entered the store” and attempted to make a purchase as well, but since she was only 18, she was also denied.
The kidnapping occurred later on while 46-year old Cameron Smith was eating lunch in his car. Surveillance footage showed that a man walked up to his vehicle and “fired two shots into the driver's side window” with a gun. The gunman “then drove away in Smith's car with Smith still inside.” Smith has not been seen since. However, his SUV was found a few days later near Airway Heights and his wallet was located on the Spokane Indian Reservation. The male suspect, Donovan Culps, was taken into custody in mid-September but neither the female suspect nor Smith have been found yet. The Seattle Times did not specify if Culps was charged with anything after his arrest.
Kidnapping is an extremely serious offense in Washington. There are types of kidnapping charges, first-degree kidnapping and second-degree kidnapping, both of which are felonies.
According to RCW 9A.40.020, kidnapping in the first degree occurs when an individual “intentionally abducts another person with the intent” to do one of the following:
- “Hold him or her for ransom or reward, or as a shield or hostage; or
- Facilitate commission of any felony or flight thereafter; or
- Inflict bodily injury on him or her; or
- Inflict extreme mental distress on him, her, or a third person; or
- Interfere with the performance of any governmental function.”
First-degree kidnapping is a class A felony and can result in a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of $50,000.
Second-degree kidnapping occurs when an individual “intentionally abducts another person under circumstances not amounting to kidnapping in the first degree.” RCW 9A.40.030. This offense is generally considered a Class B felony. It is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
In addition, kidnapping can also be considered a domestic violence crime if the individuals involved are a family or in a relationship. Moreover, if a parent takes their child in violation of custody agreement, this too is kidnapping but it is called custodial interference.
If you have been charged with kidnapping, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi for a free case consultation.