State v. Nelson

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 06-11-2014
  • Case #: A150337
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 166.240, an object must be "designed and intended primarily as weapons to inflict bodily injury or death" to qualify as a weapon or similar instrument.

Defendant was convicted on one count of carrying a concealed weapon after police found a knife with a 3.5 inch blade hanging from his neck on a chain. At trial, the state presented little evidence that the knife was a weapon, to which defendant objected. Nevertheless, the trial court determined the knife was sharp and that it was therefore a weapon. On appeal, defendant argued that ORS 166.240's catchall provision has been interpreted to count as weapons objects that "are designed and intended primarily as weapons to inflict bodily injury or death." Defendant argued that the state failed to present sufficient evidence to show that the knife was designed and intended primarily as a weapon. The Court held that when the state attempts to prove an object was a weapon or similar instrument, it must present enough evidence that a reasonable factfinder could determine the object was designed and intended to be a weapon. In this case, the state failed to do so. Reversed.

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