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Oregon Appellate Court, October 2, 2019

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by: Rankin Johnson IV • October 3, 2019 • no comments


Summarized by Rankin Johnson, OCDLA

SEARCH AND SEIZURE - Reasonable relationship to crime of arrest

State's appeal. When defendant repeatedly reached under the dashboard after being told not to, searching under the dashboard after arrest for interfering with a peace officer was reasonably related to the crime of arrest. Reversed and remanded.

State v. Hernandez 299 Or App 544 (October 2, 2019) (Armstrong) (Washington County, Roberts)

SUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE - Corpus delicti rule

Defendant's confession for unlawful possession of a destructive device was not adequately corroborated. Reversed.

Defendant intended to throw an improvised explosive device into a lake, but it went off in his hand and caused severe injuries. The only evidence tending to prove it had been an explosive device rather than a firework was the defendant's confession, and, without corroboration, the confession was not sufficient to convict.

State v. Nickles 299 Or App 561 (October 2, 2019) (Armstrong) (Coos County, Barron)

EVIDENCE - Relevance

Where defendant sought a voluntary-intoxication instruction, video of his arrest was relevant to his state of intoxication and how it might have affected his intent. Affirmed.

The court rejected the state's argument that the error became unreviewable when, following the court's ruling, defendant withdrew his request for the instruction.

State v. Gibson 299 Or App 582 (October 2, 2019) (Lagesen) (Hood River County, Olson)

EVIDENCE - Victim's prior sexual conduct

In sex-abuse prosecution, trial court erred by excluding, on the basis that it was not credible, defendant's testimony that defendant and victim had voluntary sex shortly before the offense. Reversed and remanded.

The Court of Appeals explained that a trial court cannot exclude evidence of the victim's past sexual behavior solely because the court finds it not credible.

State v. Zaldana-Mendoza 299 Or App 590 (October 2, 2019) (Shorr) (Washington County, Upton)

SEARCH AND SEIZURE- Overbroad search warrant

State's appeal. Trial court correctly ruled that, because probable cause only existed as to a single cell phone, the search warrant that permitted a search of all computer equipment was overbroad. Affirmed.

State v. Cannon 299 Or App 616 (October 2, 2019) (Shorr) (Lincoln County, Grove)


When petitioner identified meritorious claims in Church motion, the court's only options were to direct counsel to include them or to replace counsel. Reversed and remanded.

The court further observed that, because counsel asked to add the claims at the hearing, and in light of the liberal standard for amending pleadings, the court should have given leave to amend.

Field v. Myrick 299 Or App 634 (October 2, 2019) (James) (Umatilla County, McCormick)

SENTENCING - Restitution

Insurance valuation of custom vehicle was not dispositive as to its value. Affirmed.

The trial court properly relied on the victim's testimony in valuing unique vehicle for which there was no market.

State v. XXX 299 Or App 646 (October 2, 2019) (Kistler) (Washington County, Zennaché)


Camera bag was 'bag to store valuables' and thus could be opened and inventoried. Affirmed.

James, concurring, argued that Court of Appeals decisions on inventory have gradually expanded past the Supreme Court's decisions. He suggested that briefcases, backpacks and the like should not be opened pursuant to an inventory.

State v. Barnett 299 Or App 656 (October 2, 2019) (Per curiam, James concurring) (Coos County, Barron)