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Oregon Appellate Court--September 13, 2017

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by: Msell@mpdlaw.com • September 26, 2017 • no comments

Big textCRIMES/CONTEMPT

Hindering Prosecution—MJOA—Sufficient evidence to prove defendant knowingly “concealed” a person.

Search and Seizure—Probable Cause—Officer had probable cause to believe that defendant had committed crime of hindering of prosecution

There was sufficient evidence for a fact finder to conclude that defendant had “concealed” a person wanted on a warrant based on defendant’s repeated denials that he knew the person or knew that anyone had fled. Here, a detective had gone to Haussler’s property to arrest Haussler on a warrant after receiving a tip that Haussler was there. The detective saw a pickup truck at the property and saw a person who he believed to be Haussler flee after he arrived. Defendant and a woman were also at the property. The detective told defendant that he had a warrant for Haussler’s arrest. Defendant repeatedly denied knowing Haussler and, when asked who had fled, did not acknowledge that anyone had run. Later, after Haussler was found nearby and arrested, defendant was arrested for hindering prosecution. Drugs were found on defendant at the jail.

Defendant argued that there was insufficient evidence that defendant had “concealed” Haussler. The court disagrees, holding that a reasonable fact finder could find that defendant’s lies were intended to conceal Haussler’s physical presence by misleading the officer into believing that Haussler had not been recently present and was not likely present nearby. For the same reasons, the court concludes that the detective had probable cause to arrest defendant for hindering prosecution.

State v. Carpenter, 287 Or App 720 (2017) (DeVore, J.)

Big textEVIDENCE

Evidence—Vouching Sentencing—Statutory maximum sentence

Detective’s statements during a taped interview asserting that defendant was lying and the victims were truthful were admissible because they were not offered to prove the credibility of defendant or the witnesses but were offered as context for defendant’s statements.

The state charged the defendant with multiple sexual offenses. At trial, the state sought to introduce a recording of a detective’s interview with defendant in which defendant denied the allegations and the detective repeatedly asserted that defendant was lying and the victims were truthful. Defendant objected to the admission of the statements, asserting that they were hearsay and improperly commented on the credibility of witnesses. After the state introduced the recording, defendant also asked for a mistrial or that the jury be instructed to disregard the statements. After the presentation of evidence, the trial court instructed the jury that the detective’s recorded interview statements “are not to be considered for their truth” and “should not be considered comments upon the credibility of any person or witness.”

The court holds that under State v. Chandler, 360 Or 323 (2016), the trial court did not err in admitting the statements. Here, as in Chandler, the detective’s statements were not offered for the truth about his beliefs about the truthfulness of defendant or the victims, but to provide context for defendant’s statements, specifically, defendant’s reaction to being confronted. Additionally, the trial court instructed the jury not to consider the detective’s statements for their truth or as comments on the credibility of defendant or other witnesses.

The trial court erred when it imposed 100 months’ imprisonment plus 20 years’ post-prison supervision on defendant’s convictions on two counts of first-degree unlawful sexual penetration in the judgment. The aggregate duration of incarceration and post-prison supervision was limited to a maximum statutory indeterminate sentence length of 20 years. The state concedes the error.

State v. Garcia Rocio, 287 Or App 745 (2017) (Duncan, J.)


Big textPAROLE/PPS

Parole & Post-Prison Supervision—Substantial Evidence and Substantial Reason

The board’s order finding that petitioner/defendant had not proven by a preponderance of the evidence that he was likely to be rehabilitated within a reasonable period of time and declining to change petitioner’s terms of confinement were supported by substantial evidence and substantial reason. Petitioner’s contention that the board erred in deferring his next murder review hearing should be deferred four years was moot.

The board’s findings that evidence that petitioner was not likely to be rehabilitated in a reasonable period of time was supported notwithstanding evidence of his remorse and acceptance of responsibility, psychologists’ reports stating he would not violate the law and would conform to conditions of parole, no negative disciplinary history, and family support upon release. The board relied on counterbalancing evidence of petitioner’s demeanor and testimony at the review hearing, which demonstrated a lack of empathy and a selfish and entitled attitude. Additionally, the board could reasonably find that the psychologists’ conclusions favorable to petitioner were unreliable. The court further concluded that the board could reasonably find that petitioner lacked insight and failed to accept responsibility for his criminal behavior, particularly his history of domestic violence. On the question of whether he had a mental or emotional disturbance that made him a danger to the health and safety of the community, the board could reasonably rely on one psychologist’s testimony that petitioner is narcissistic and could benefit from counseling if he were released. Finally, in concluding that petitioner lacked an adequate parole plan, the board did not rely solely on the fact that petitioner had just under $1,000 in savings, but pointed to petitioner’s lack of forethought and intent to rely on food stamps and other subsidies. The board’s order was supported by substantial reason.

The court did not reach the question of whether the board had erred in deferring his next murder review for four years because he has now received a hearing and, hence, resolution of that issue would have no practical effect.

Wille v. Board of Parole, 287 Or App 709 (2017) (Devore, P.J.)

Big textPCR/Habeas Corpus

Post-Conviction Relief—“Suitability” of PCR Counsel—Trial court abused its discretion in denying substitution of counsel based on incorrect understanding of counsel’s duties following a Church motion

The trial court abused its discretion when it denied petitioner’s/defendant’s request for substitute counsel after appointed counsel took a position adverse to petitioner in response to petitioner’s Church motion. Petitioner, who was represented by counsel, filed a pro se motion pursuant to Church v. Gladden, 244 Or 308 (1966), raising 27 claims for PCR relief that counsel had not included in the amended petition. Responding to the trial court’s request, PCR counsel filed a response to petitioner’s motion detailing why counsel had rejected those 27 claims. Petitioner moved to have substitute counsel appointed because his counsel was advocating for the state. The trial court rejected the motion, reasoning that counsel was required to respond to the claims petitioner raised in the Church motion.

The PCR court abused its discretion when it denied petitioner’s request for substitute counsel because it was mistaken as to counsel’s obligations in response to a Church motion and, therefore, was also mistaken as to what constituted “suitable” counsel. A Church motion is a procedural mechanism that allows a PCR petitioner to avoid the preclusive effect of failing to raise an issue original or amended petition; it does not necessitate a response by the court or counsel. Petitioner was denied suitable counsel when his counsel advocated against his interests, even though that advocacy resulted from counsel’s mistaken belief of what was required of him in response to a Church motion.

Lopez v. Nooth, 287 Or App 731 (2017) (James, J.)

Post-Conviction Relief—Statute of Limitations—Evidence that grounds for PCR could not reasonably be raised in original or amended petitions sufficient to survive summary judgment under escape clause to two-year limitations statute

Petitioner/defendant could not have reasonably raised the grounds asserted in her petition within the two-year filing period, and it was error for the trial court to grant the state’s motion for summary judgment.

A petition for PCR relief must be filed within two years the entry date of the judgment of conviction if no appeal is taken unless the grounds asserted in the petition “could not reasonably have been raised in the original or amended petition.” ORS 138.510(3). The statutes contemplate that a petitioner’s pro se petition will initiate PCR proceedings, after which counsel will be appointed to represent the petitioner if the petitioner is eligible for appointed counsel, and will file an amended petition.

Viewed in the light most favorable to petitioner, petitioner received ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel. Petitioner then initiated a case for post-conviction relief in a manner contrary to the procedure contemplated by the statutes by filing an affidavit of indigency. Petitioner was appointed counsel. Petitioner’s counsel advised the court that he planned to file a petition before the lapse of the two-year filing deadline, but he failed to file a petition by that date. A petition for PCR was eventually filed, two months after the two-year filing period lapsed.

Because it was reasonable for petitioner to assume that her PCR counsel would file the petition within the two-year filing period, and after PCR counsel failed to meet that obligation, it was too late for petitioner to object to that failure, and because in the underlying due process concerns implicated in the unique posture of this case, the court holds that petitioner’s claims fall within the escape clause in ORS 138.510(3) and the trial court erred in granting summary judgment against petitioner.

Winstead v. State of Oregon, 287 Or App 737 (2017) (Duncan, J.)

Big textSEARCH & SEIZURE