State v. Duvall

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 09-04-2014
  • Case #: A152472
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Haselton, C.J., for the Court; DeVore, P.J.; and Garnett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Trial court that assumes the jury has an understanding of a legal definition and then fails to give that definition to the jury risks having the trial remanded.

Defendant appealed his conviction of assault, felony fourth-degree assault, menacing, and reckless endangerment. Defendant contends that the court failed to instruct the jury on the definition of 'burglary' and erred in denying his motion for judgment of acquittal (MJOA) regarding the felony fourth-degree assault. Defendant's charges arose out of an altercation where the defendant's estranged wife and father went to the Defendant's home and began pounding on the door insisting on being let in. Though Defendant warned them that he was armed, the wife threw a brick through a window and proceeded, with her father, to attempt to climb through the window, tearing down the blinds. Defendant proceeded to fire a shot which entered the foot of the father and may have been witnessed by the wife's daughter from a previous marriage. Defendant asserted self-defense at trial and requested that the definition of burglary also be given but was denied. The indictment indicated that the shot was fired in front of Defendant's “child” rather than “step-child,” leading to an issue proving that element. The State concedes to both errors and recognizes that Defendant is warranted a new trial on all counts, with the fourth-degree assault charge limited to a misdemeanor. Reversed and remanded.

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