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Oregon Appellate Court--February 28, 2018

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by: Rankin Johnson IV • March 5, 2018 • no comments

Summarized by Rankin Johnson, OCDLA

  • SENTENCING - Compensatory fines

Trial court plainly erred by imposing $50,000 compensatory fines for compelling prostitution.

Defendant was convicted of drug and sex offenses, including compelling prostitution, against a 13-year-old girl. The victim reported the crimes after she was sent to an Arizona facility for at-risk girls.

At sentencing, the court imposed a $200 punitive fine on each offense.The court also imposed a $50,000 compensatory fine on each of three compelling-prostitution counts. The state presented evidence that treatment at the Arizona facility had cost $168,000.

The court decided that the record did not show that the victim suffered any economic damages recoverable in a civil action. The court further explained that the compensatory fine statute permits the court to transfer otherwise-proper fines from the state to the victim but is not a basis to impose any additional fine. Accordingly, it is plain error to impose a compensatory fine in addition to a punitive fine.

The court also plainly erred by ordering the defendant to pay attorney’s fees. The defendant was sentenced to a lengthy prison term. The court’s vague statement that the defendant appeared healthy and might be able to pay was not based on concrete facts and thus could not support the award.

Compensatory fine and attorney-fee award reversed.

State v. Moreno-Hernandez 290 Or App 468 (February 28, 2018) (Egan, J.)

  • TRIAL PROCEDURE -- Good cause

Worker’s reasonable but mistaken belief that he would be laid off for reporting a work-related injury was good-cause for failing to report during the statutory period.

Kuralt v. SAIF 290 Or App 479 (February 28, 2018) (Egan, J.)

  • EVIDENCE -- Other bad acts

Defendant had previously shot and killed his neighbor Vaughan, and was charged with shooting and killing his neighbor Estes. Trial court did not err by admitting evidence that Defendant had killed Vaughan in order to explain evidence of defendant’s statements that he would do to Estes what he did to Vaughan.

The trial court erred in excluding some evidence relating to self-defense, but the error was harmless. Affirmed.

State v. Easley 290 Or App 506 (February 28, 2018) (Lagesen, J.)

  • CRIMES--Burglary

Evidence was not sufficient to prove intent to commit theft when defendant broke into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment, ate food belonging to him, rearranged pictures, and left a note.

The state argued that, in breaking into the apartment, defendant had intended to commit theft or theft of services by using the electricity inside. The court disagreed. There was evidence that at the time of the break-in, defendant intended to eat his own food in the apartment. There was no basis to infer that he also intended to steal electricity. Reversed and remanded for entry of judgment of conviction for trespassing.

State v. Cole 290 Or App 322 (February 28, 2018) (Powers, J.)

  • TRIAL PROCEDURE -- Demurrers

Trial court erred by denying demurrer directed against indictment for controlled-substance offenses, firearm offenses, and child endangerment, when no allegation regarding the relationship between those offenses was in the indictment. Reversed and remanded to permit defendant to withdraw conditional plea.

State v. Page 290 Or App 562 (February 28, 2018) (Powers, J.)

  • SENTENCING -- Review of prison rules

Trial court erred by denying demurrer directed against indictment for controlled-substance offenses, firearm offenses, and child endangerment, when no allegation regarding the relationship between those offenses was in the indictment. Reversed and remanded to permit defendant to withdraw conditional plea.

Smith v. Oregon Corrections Enterprises 290 Or App 568 (February 28, 2018) (Per curiam)

  • SENTENCING -- Forfeiture of firearms

Juvenile was found within juvenile court's jurisdiction for a firearm offense. Trial court erred by ordering forfeiture and destruction of a different firearm seized from juvenile's home when the firearm was not used in, or available for use in, the offense. Reversed and remanded.

State v. NSB 290 Or App 576 (February 28, 2018) (Per curiam)

  • EVIDENCE -- Vouching

Trial court plainly erred by admitting police officer testimony that the victim was telling the truth and the defendant was lying. Reversed and remanded for new trial.

State v. Kolb 290 Or App 578 (February 28, 2018) (Per curiam)