By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
Former Chehalis family practice physician David Wooten lost his state Supreme Court case regarding a felony malicious mischief conviction in connection with a Mayfield Lake home he was buying.
Dr. Wooten and his wife Janna Wooten were found guilty in separate trials in Lewis County Superior Court after they were accused of trashing the house they lived in at Mayfield Lake in 2008. They contended it was simply a remodeling project they left unfinished when they moved out of the home they were purchasing.
Last year, the Washington Court of Appeals Division II tossed out his wife’s conviction and then a different three-judge panel of the same court upheld Wooten’s conviction.
Yesterday the state’s high court issued its decision against Wooten, with five judges agreeing. Four judges signed the dissent.
Wooten, who was buying the property on a real estate contract, claimed he did not damage “the property of another” – an element of the crime.
However, the state Supreme Court disagreed. For the purposes of malicious mischief, Wooten was not the exclusive owner of the property, they wrote.
For background, read “Conviction vacated for trashing of Mossyrock house” from Wednesday May 23, 2012, here