Sirens & Gavels

High court upholds Coe commitment

When I interviewed Kevin Coe in prison in 2006, I noted in the May 21, 2006, article that Coe looked fit for a 59-year-old man. Coe later wrote me a letter saying: "I look fit for any age."

But it appears his legal fight for freedom has reached an end, at least in Washington.

The Washington Supreme Court today upheld the sexually violent predator civil commitment of South Hill rapist Kevin Coe.

A jury committed Coe in 2008 following a month-long trial. The state moved to commit Coe in 2006 just before his release after serving 25 years in prison on the only rape conviction that survived appeal even though he was suspected in dozens more during a reign of terror that became a best selling crime novel and made-for-television movie.

Coe and his attorneys appealed that commitment on the argument that Superior Court Judge Kathleen O’Connor erred when she allowed assistant attorneys general to introduce evidence from 36 sexual assaults that did not result in criminal charges against Coe. They also contended that he had ineffective counsel and that he deserved a new trial.

“Finding no reversible error in any of Coe’s claims, we affirm his commitment,” Justice Susan Owens wrote for the majority.

Read the breaking story on today's development at this link.




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Thomas Clouse
Thomas Clouse covers area college and high school sports.

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