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Oregon Appellate Court, October 9, 2019

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by: Rankin Johnson IV • October 10, 2019 • no comments

 

Summarized by Rankin Johnson, OCDLA

DEFENDANT'S STATEMENTS - Invocation of right to counsel

Defendant's question "do I need a lawyer" was an equivocal invocation, and police properly asked clarifying questions. Affirmed.

Any error regarding defendant's other statements was harmless, because the judge, sitting as factfinder, expressly said that he relied on the victims' testimony in reaching verdict.

State v. Reed 299 Or App 675 (October 9, 2019) (Hadlock) (Multnomah County, Jones)

CIVIL COMMITMENT- Evidence supporting continued commitment

Evidence that defendant suffers from Pick's Disease, which reduces inhibitions, and has been violent toward two other inmates was sufficient to show defendant to be a danger to himself or others. Affirmed.

State v. S.T. 299 Or App 696 (October 9, 2019) (Hadlock) (Marion County, Wren)

CIVIL COMMITMENT- Evidence supporting continued commitment

Evidence that defendant suffers from schizophrenia and has engaged in stalking as a result is not sufficient to show he is a danger to himself or others, when he has never been violent toward another. Reversed.

State v. Z.W.Y. 299 Or App 703 (October 9, 2019) (Hadlock) (Marion County, Reed)

CIVIL COMMITMENT- Evidence supporting continued commitment

Evidence that defendant acted irrationally and physically resisted medical attention did not prove that he was unable to provide for his basic needs. Reversed.

State v. L.M. 299 Or App 710 (October 9, 2019) (Hadlock) (Lane County, Klapstein)

CIVIL COMMITMENT- Evidence supporting continued commitment

Evidence that defendant suffers from schizophrenia and has engaged in stalking as a result is sufficient to show he is a danger to himself or others, when he has never been violent toward another. Affirmed.

In contrast to its companion case above, the Court of Appeals found that a more robust evidentiary record supported commitment. The state offered evidence regarding defendant's mental illness, his plan to stop taking medication on release, and his belief that a stalking order against him is invalid.

State v. Z.W.Y. 299 Or App 717 (October 9, 2019) (Hadlock) (Marion County, Klapstein)

RIGHT TO COUNSEL - Conduct constituting a waiver of counsel

When three of defendant's four appointed attorneys withdrew following threats by defendant, trial court did not err by declining to appoint a fifth attorney. Affirmed.

Although the court did not advise defendant of the risks of self-representation, defendant's arguments to the court about what he wanted his attorney to do demonstrated his awareness of the risks of self-representation. The court adequately warned defendant that misconduct toward his attorneys would have consequences.

State v. Garrett 299 Or App 744 (October 9, 2019) (DeHoog) (Jackson County, Barnack)

PROBATION - Sentence upon violation

Argument that probation-violation court erred by failing to exercise discretion whether to revoke probation was unpreserved. Affirmed.

The Court of Appeals also declined to reach, as harmless, issue whether evidence obtained in violation of Article I, sec 12 is admissible in probation-violation proceeding.

State v. Dowty 299 Or App 762 (October 9, 2019) (DeHoog) (Tillamook County, Hill)

EVIDENCE - Accomplice testimony

Uncorroborated accomplice testimony was not sufficient to convict. Reversed.

Defendant and an accomplice broke into a truck and was convicted primarily on the testimony of the accomplice. A witness to the offense provided only a vague description of defendant, and that description was not sufficient to corroborate the accomplice's testimony.

State v. Baker 299 Or App 779 (October 9, 2019) (DeHoog) (Polk County, Hill)

JURY INSTRUCTIONS - Objections to jury instructions

State's appeal. Where the defendant does not object to jury instructions, a court may not order a new trial after the verdict. Reversed and remanded.

The mental state was omitted from some otherwise-uniform jury instructions, apparently by mistake. In reversing the grant of a new trial, the Court of Appeals held that a new trial for jury-instruction error requires an objection. A dissent written by Armstrong and joined by Egan, Ortega, DeHoog, James, and Aoyagi argued that the error was an 'irregularity in the proceedings,' a separate basis to grant a new trial.

State v. Ramoz 299 Or App 787 (October 9, 2019) (En banc, Shorr, Armstrong dissenting) (Jackson County, Barnack)

TRIAL PROCEDURE - Mistrial

Police-officer witnesses being called to an incident and therefore not appearing for trial was not 'manifest necessity' permitting retrial. Reversed.

In declaring a mistrial, the court focused on the inconvenience to jurors in extending a half-day trial to the following week, but did not determine that extending the trial was impossible. The state confessed error.

State v. Gillespie 299 Or App 813 (October 9, 2019) (Aoyagi) (Marion County, Partridge)

FAPA AND RESTRAINING ORDERS - Sufficiency

Evidence of past abuse and repeated minor contact after initial order was granted were sufficient to issue permanent order. Affirmed.

P.K.W. v. Steagall 299 Or App 820 (October 9, 2019) (Mooney) (Linn County, Delsman)

RIGHT TO COUNSEL - Self-representation

Trial court erred by denying defendant's request to represent himself. Reversed and remanded.

State v. Noorzai 299 Or App 828 (October 9, 2019) (Per Curiam) (Washington County, Erwin)