State v. Egeland

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 01-29-2014
  • Case #: A148669
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

When refusal to give a requested jury instruction results in a jury conviction that would have likely been affected by the rejected instruction, the court may have committed harmful error.

Defendant appealed conviction of delivery of a controlled substance within a 1,000 feet of a school and unlawful delivery of a controlled substance. Defendant received prescriptions from his nurse. The nurse asked him to assist in getting hydrocodone for another patient. Defendant agreed and delivered them to the nurse. The nurse kept the hydrocodone for herself. Defendant was charged with delivery of controlled substances. The nurse's statements at trial contradicted the testimony of both Defendant and Defendant’s girlfriend. Defendant requested a jury instruction about accomplice-witness testimony. The trial court denied the jury instruction and claimed it was sufficiently covered by the evidence. Defendant was convicted. Defendant appealed conviction and claimed that the trial court erred in not giving the jury instruction. The State conceded to the error, but claimed it was harmless. However, the Court found that the testimony and evidence introduced at trial was not sufficient enough to corroborate the nurse's testimony and in some cases actually contradicted it; therefore, the corroboration instruction may have resulted in a different outcome. The Court of Appeals held that not giving the jury instruction was error and that Defendant was harmed because the corroboration instruction would have likely affected the jury's verdict. Reversed and remanded.

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