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State v. S.N. (2018): In the spring of 2018, twenty-year-old S.N. was attending a party at the home of some friends who attended Central Washington University. During the party an altercation broke out between S.N. and one of the tenants of the house over a broken chair. By the time the altercation was over the tenant was suffering from a life-threatening knife wound to his arm and S.N. was facing 13-16 years in prison on charges of First Degree Assault and First Degree Burglary.
Along with co-counsel Michelle Scudder (www.scudderlawfirm.com), Zach successfully defended S.N. at trial which resulted in acquittals on both the Assault and Burglary charges. In addition, the jury concluded that S.N. acted lawfully in defending himself and the judge ordered the State to reimburse S.N. and his family for the attorney’s fees they paid to defend S.N.. S.N. now lives out-of-state and is pursuing his educational and employment goals.
Read the local paper’s articles about the case here:
Daily Record News: "EPD identifies suspect in knife assault"
Daily Record News: "Trial begins for man charged with stabbing acquaintance"
Daily Record News: "Attorneys make closing statements in stabbing trial"
Daily Record News: "Jury finds man not guilty of stabbing acquaintance"
State v. J.P. (2017): J.P. was charged with numerous counts of Rape of a Child in the First Degree and Child Molestation in the First Degree in two different counties after being accused by both his adopted daughter and his ex-girlfriend's daughter of sexual abuse.
Along with co-counsel Michelle Scudder (www.scudderlawfirm.com), Zach successfully defended J.P. at trial leading to acquittals on all charges in one county and a dismissal of all charges in the second county.
State of Washington v. Jarred Ha (2016): Jarred Ha was a 22-year old economics student at the University of Washington when, after an altercation at an off-campus party, he was chased down by a 240 lb. body builder who began to beat him mercilessly. In desperation, Jarred pulled out a knife and used it to stop by the assault. In the process, Jarred inflicted serious wounds on his assailant. Because he used a knife to defend himself Jarred was charged with Assault in the First Degree and faced a prison sentence of 10-12 years. He was also summarily suspended from the University of Washington due to the incident.
Along with co-counsel, Michelle Scudder (www.scudderlawfirm.com), Zach successfully defended Jarred during a two-week trial after which a jury found him not guilty of all charges and entered a special verdict finding that he acted lawfully in defending himself. As a result of the special verdict the judge ordered the State to reimburse Jarred for all of his attorney's fees and the University of Washington dropped the suspension allowing him to return to school. (See Jarred’s AVVO Review Here)
See links to the News Coverage:
WATCH THE VIDEO: UW Student Acquitted of First Degree Assault, State Must Pay Legal Fees
UW Student Cleared by Jury (Seattle Times)
Judge Orders State to Reimburse Defendant (Seattle Times)
UW Student Cleared and Ordered to be Reimbursed by State (Q13 News)
UW Student Acquitted of Assault (Kiro 7)
State v. L.G. (2015): In 2014 L.G. was accused by his then-stepdaughter of sexually abusing her over the course of several years. The allegations cost L.G. his marriage, his employment, and most of his personal possessions. Eventually he was charged by the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office with eight counts of child molestation and rape of a child. Facing the very real possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison but knowing he had not done what he was accused of, L.G. set his case for trial.
Along with co-counsel, Michelle Scudder (www.scudderlawfirm.com), Zach successfully defended L.G. against the false allegations. After a three week trial the jury found him not guilty of all eight counts and L.G. was finally free to pick up the pieces of his life. He has now moved out of the state and regained employment. (See L.G.’s AVVO Review Here)
State v. Allen Ivanov: In 2016 Allen Ivanov took an assault weapon to the home of a high school classmate in Mukilteo, Washington and opened fire on a group of people who were celebrating the end of the school year. Among the three individuals who were killed was his former girlfriend. The evidence against Allen was overwhelming and included numerous eye-witnesses, a lengthy confession, and even a letter written before the incident outlining the reasons for the shooting. Due to the strength of the evidence and the youth and number of victims, the Snohomish County Prosecutor threatened to seek the death penalty against Allen. Zach and other members of Allen’s legal team were able to convince the elected prosecutor to spare Allen’s life just one day before he was scheduled to announce his decision.
State v. Johnnie Wiggins: In 2013 Johnnie Wiggins was charged with Premeditated First Degree Murder – Domestic Violence for beating his girlfriend to death on Christmas Eve in front of her 14-year-old daughter. Armed with two eye witnesses, a confession, and forensic evidence, the State refused to negotiate the case and went to trial with the hope of putting Mr. Wiggins in prison for the rest of his life. At trial Zach managed to exploit holes in the evidence and flaws in the investigation and convinced a jury to convict Mr. Wiggins of only Murder in the Second Degree saving him over 15 years in prison.
State v. John Pomeroy and Rebecca Long (Criminal Mistreatment): In August of 2008 an emaciated fourteen-year-old girl was discovered locked away in her parent's home in Carnation, WA. Once the girl had been safely removed from the home authorities learned that the child's father and stepmother had been restricting her food and water for the last 3-4 years leaving her severely malnourished and underdeveloped. Zach handled the prosecution of these two parents who were eventually sentenced to the maximum sentence possible.
State v. Earnest Collins: In the early morning hours of July 10, 2008, taxi driver Jagjit Singh was killed by Mr. Collins after responding to his call for a cab. Almost immediately after Mr. Singh arrived, Mr. Collins climbed into the back of his cab, shot Mr. Singh twice in the head, and then set Mr. Singh on fire after taking whatever money he could find.
Along with another prosecutor and some very dedicated King County Sheriff’s Office detectives, Zach prosecuted Mr. Collins for the aggravated first degree murder of Mr. Singh. The case was pieced together using every type of forensic expert imaginable including fire investigators, medical examiners, DNA experts, and forensic computer/video experts from the FBI Crime Lab in Quantico, VA. Mr. Collins was ultimately found guilty of Aggravated First Degree Murder and sentenced to spend the remainder of his life in prison.
State v. Brian and Hollie Beston: In October 2009 detectives in San Diego, California contacted Seattle Police Department's ICAC Unit to notify them that a California sex offender had reported an ongoing online relationship with a Washington couple, Brian and Hollie Beston, during which the couple had sent him sexually explicit photos of them sexually abusing their four-year-old daughter. The man further reported viewing a live act of sexual abuse of the little girl by her father via webcam. Zach worked with the ICAC Unit to develop probable cause and obtain a search warrant to search the Beston's home and computer. As a result, significant evidence of child rape and sexual abuse was obtained and the Beston's were charged, and ultimately pleaded guilty to, multiple counts of child sexual abuse.
After spending the first 12 years of his legal career as a prosecutor, Zach Wagnild opened his own practice in order to provide outstanding support and legal advocacy to those who are facing criminal charges. He purposefully keeps a low caseload so that he can give each case his personal attention, and so he has sufficient time to meet with clients, discuss their options, and approach their case in the manner that is the most beneficial to them and their needs.