Monday, September 25, 2006

More on Coe Commitment

Kevin Coe was slated for release from prison after serving twenty years for his rape conviction, but the state has petitions for him to be committed as a sexually violent predator. See earlier post.

Maureen Howard has pointed me to a very useful press release from the AG's office: McKenna files sexually violent predator commitment against Coe, Aug. 30, 2006. In addition to discussing Coe's case, the press release gives background on the sexually violent predator law (RCW 71.09).

The AG's Sexually Violent Predator Unit handles all of the SVP cases for 38 of Washington's counties. (King County handles its own.)

The press release links to the state's pleadings, including a psychologist's evaluation (pp. 10-107 of the pdf). Coe was convicted of one rape, but the psychologist considered "all available legal records, criminal records including arrest reports, records from the Department of Corrections and psychological evaluations for Mr. Coe."

The probable cause hearing is set for Oct. 30 in Spokane County Superior Court (Judge Kathleen O'Connor). Until then, Coe will be in the state's Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. (The Special Commitment Center Program is operated by DSHS, not the Department of Corrections.) Coe to spend 7 weeks at sex-predator jail as he awaits hearing, Seattle Times, Sept. 7, 2006; Hearing delayed as state seeks to keep Spokane rapist in custody, Seattle Times, Sept. 6, 2006.

Coe's attorney, Tim Trageser, requested additional time to prepare for the probable cause hearing. The state had given him about 66,000 pages of documents in discovery! (They were on CD.) You can see the hearing on KNDU. Coe, his attorney, and the state's attorneys (Todd Bowers and Malcolm Ross) appeared in court via a video hook-up from the Spokane County jail. (There's some dead air on the video before the hearing begins.) The same page links to news stories with excerpts from a recent Dateline interview with Coe, who maintains his innocence.

Photo: Special Commitment Center Total Confinement Facility, McNeil Island, from

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