State v. Nelson

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 12-17-2014
  • Case #: A146904
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Schuman, S.J. for the court; Duncan, P.J.; & Haselton, C.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 166.023(1), a defendant who responds to a friend’s social network account about an emergency at a school is not considered to have initiated or circulated a report. Also, such behavior does not qualify as having knowingly done so.

Defendant appealed a conviction for first degree disorderly conduct, ORS 166.023(1). Defendant responded to a friend’s Myspace comment which said “I live down the street from Barlow [High School]. I’m bored let’s shoot it up.” Defendant’s response encouraged the act and he offered to assist in the school shooting. Another Myspace patron noticed the interaction and reported it to the police. ORS 166.023(1) states: “A person commits the crime of disorderly conduct in the first degree if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or knowingly creating a risk thereof, the person initiates or circulates a report, knowing it to be false:” and stating that the catastrophe will be located at a school. The Court determined that Defendant did not violate the statute because by responding to a message on Myspace he did not initiate or circulate the report and his mental state did not rise to the level of knowing. Conviction for first-degree disorderly conduct reversed; otherwise affirmed.

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