State v. Naudain

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 12-12-2012
  • Case #: A144918
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; and Duncan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A trial court is not permitted to comment on the evidence, and a court impermissibly comments on evidence when it instructs the jury how evidence relates to a particular legal issue.

Defendant appealed his conviction for two counts of aggravated murder. Defendant was accused of committing a murder while impersonating a police officer and under the influence of methamphetamine. The trial court instructed the jury on self-defense. A trial court is not permitted to comment on the evidence, and a court improperly comments when it instructs the jury how evidence relates to a particular legal issue. The given instruction directed the jury’s attention to undisputed evidence and explained that self-defense was precluded. The Defendant properly preserved his objection regarding the court’s instruction on self-defense. The Court of Appeals held the jury instruction bolstered the State’s argument by instructing the jury that Defendant could not employ self-defense, and therefore it prejudiced Defendant. Reversed and remanded.

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