Court of Appeals Division I
State of Washington

Opinion Information Sheet

Docket Number: 48013-8-I
Title of Case: State of Washington, Respondent
Jeffrey S. Brooks, Appellant
File Date: 09/16/2002

Appeal from Superior Court of King County
Docket No: 001048811
Judgment or order under review
Date filed: 02/07/2001
Judge signing: Hon. Deborah D. Fleck

Authored by William W. Baker
Concurring: C. Kenneth Grosse
Marlin J Appelwick

Counsel for Appellant(s)
Washington Appellate Project
Cobb Building
1305 4th Avenue, Ste 802
Seattle, WA 98101

Oliver R. Davis
Washington Appellate Project
Cobb Bldg
1305 4th Ave Ste 802
Seattle, WA 98101

Counsel for Respondent(s)
Prosecuting Atty King County
King County Prosecutor/Appellate Unit
1850 Key Tower
700 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104

David D. Martin
King Co Pros Aty Off
516 3rd Ave Rm 554
Seattle, WA 98104


Respondent, )
) NO. 48013-8-I
vs. )
Appellant. )

BAKER, J. - Jeffrey Brooks appeals his convictions on two counts of first
degree burglary. Because his assaults on two individuals during the same
incident did not constitute two distinct acts of burglary, we reverse one
of his convictions.

Jeffrey Brooks entered onto the patio of Christina Beckler's apartment, and
broke through the sliding glass door after she refused to let him in. He
assaulted Beckler's guest, Christopher Meeks, pushing him onto the patio.
He then stepped back inside the apartment, pushed Beckler to the floor, and
held and shook her. Brooks was charged and convicted of two counts of
first degree burglary. He was not charged with first degree burglary and
second degree assault.1 He appeals.
Brooks argues that his two convictions of first degree burglary arising out
of one incident violates his constitutional guarantee against double
jeopardy. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution and
article I, section 9 of the Washington Constitution prohibit multiple
punishments for the same offense.2 When a defendant is convicted more than
once for violation of a single criminal statute, we review the statute in
question to determine the criminal conduct or "unit of prosecution" the
Legislature intended to be a punishable act.3 If a defendant has committed
only one "unit of prosecution," he may only be convicted once.4
Washington courts have not yet interpreted the burglary statute to
determine the unit of prosecution in first degree burglary. Interpretation
of a statute is a question of law that we review de novo.5 Our first task
is to determine if the statute is ambiguous. It is ambiguous if it is
susceptible to two or more reasonable interpretations.6 If a statute is
not ambiguous, we derive its meaning from the wording of the statute
itself.7 Statutory construction is not necessary. 8 In this case, the
statute is not ambiguous.
A person is guilty of first degree burglary if:
{W}ith intent to commit a crime against a person or property therein, he or
she enters or remains unlawfully in a building and if, in entering or while
in the building or in immediate flight therefrom, the actor or another
participant in the crime (a) is armed with a deadly weapon, or (b) assaults
any person.{9}

Thus, for each count of burglary, the defendant must have both:

1) Unlawfully, and with intent to commit a crime against a person or
a) entered a building; or
b) remained in a building


2) During the entry, exit, or while in the building,
a) Been armed with a deadly weapon; or
b) Assaulted any person; or
c) Accompanied a participant armed with a deadly weapon; or
d) Accompanied a participant who assaulted any person.

In this case, the State does not assert that Brooks committed two
distinct acts of entering or remaining in the apartment.10 Instead, it
analogizes burglary to the crime of robbery, making the number of victims
the dispositive issue. According to this view, if one breaks into a
building and separately assaults 10 persons inside, 10 counts of first
degree burglary have been committed. But the elements of robbery differ
from burglary. In State v. Rupe,11 the Washington Supreme Court held that
the crime of robbery consists of a) the taking of personal property and b)
the use or threat to use force on an individual.12 Thus, in Rupe, the
defendant twice satisfied both elements of the crime when he took money
from each of two bank tellers during a bank robbery.13 In this case, Brooks
did assault two victims. But it is undisputed that he only committed one
act of entering the building. His acts support one conviction of first
degree burglary.
Brooks raises several issues in his pro se supplemental brief involving
allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct,
and prejudicial evidentiary rulings. Because he cites neither to authority
nor to the record, and provides no analysis, we decline to consider them.14
REVERSED in part/AFFIRMED in part.


1 Cf., State v. Davison, 56 Wn. App. 554, 555, 784 P.2d 1268 (1990).
2 In re Personal Restraint Petition of Sarausad, 109 Wn. App. 824, 852, 39
P.3d 308 (2001) (six shots fired into crowd constituted separate acts for
which defendant could be charged and convicted).
3 State v. Adel, 136 Wn.2d 629, 634, 965 P.2d 1072 (1998); In re Personal
Restraint of Davis, 142 Wn.2d 165, 171, 12 P.3d 603 (2000).
4 Adel, 136 Wn.2d at 634.
5 State v. Bright, 129 Wn.2d 257, 265, 916 P.2d 922 (1996).
6 State v. Tili, 139 Wn.2d 107, 115, 985 P.2d 365 (1999).
7 Tili, 139 Wn.2d at 115.
8 Tili, 139 Wn.2d at 115.
9 RCW 9A.52.020(1).
10 The parties agree that Brooks continued to be in the bounded area of the
residence when he fell onto the patio before returning inside the
11 101 Wn.2d 664, 683 P.2d 571 (1984).
12 Rupe, 101 Wn.2d at 693. See also, State v. Larkin, 70 Wn. App. 349, 351,
357, 853 P.2d 451 (1993) (convictions on two counts of robbery affirmed
where the defendant forced his way into a residence and took property
belonging to two separate individuals).
13 Rupe, 101 Wn.2d at 693.
14 RAP 10.3, 10.4; State v. Berrysmith, 87 Wn.App. 268, 279, 944 P.2d 397
(1997), review denied, 134 Wn.2d 1008 (1998) (appellate court need not
reach pro se argument that is unsupported by authority); State v.
Marintorres, 93 Wn. App. 442, 452, 969 P.2d 501 (1999) (conclusory pro se
supplemental brief that identified no specific legal issues not