State v. Abraham

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 09-04-2014
  • Case #: A150400
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Hadlock, J..
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OEC 401, when a defendant--after the alleged crime--makes a statement of intent to commit that same crime in the future cannot be admitted as evidence of intent.

Defendant was charged with unlawful delivery of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school; unlawful delivery of cocaine; and unlawful possession. Two weeks after the alleged crime he made a statement to his girlfriend that he intended to later sell crack cocaine. The trial court admitted the statement into evidence and the State used it as evidence of intent. On appeal, Defendant argued that his statement was irrelevant evidence under OEC 401. Specifically, Defendant argued, was that his intent to sell in the future had no tendency to prove that he had done so previously. The Court here agreed with the Defendant and held that the evidence of future intent established after the alleged misconduct was not relevant as it did not go to show intent to act at the time of the alleged crime. The Court subsequently concluded that because the statement went directly to distribution and delivery, that the error likely directly influenced the jury. As to the first two counts, reversed and remanded. As to the remaining count, affirmed.

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