State v. Lunetta

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 03-04-2015
  • Case #: A155286
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Nakamoto J.
  • Full Text Opinion

When the evidence has a tendency to connect defendant to the charged crimes independent of any accomplice testimony, the accomplice testimony is corroborated.

Defendant was convicted of five counts of robbery, one count of burglary, and four counts of kidnapping in the first degree. The facts are as follows: four men entered a home where five people resided and stole property. At trial, one of the accomplices testified that Defendant participated in the robbery. Defendant assigned error to the trial court's denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal. Defendant argued that the state failed to present legally sufficient evidence to support a guilty verdict on each of the counts because a reasonable trier of fact could not conclude that other evidence corroborated accomplice testimony. The state conceded that the evidence was legally insufficient to support defendant's convictions for kidnapping. The Court found that the corroborating evidence included (1) letters defendant wrote to accomplice while awaiting trial, (2) testimony that police found gun in a safe where defendant slept; (3) testimony from a victim that defendant had a similar build to one of the men who committed the crime; and (4) more testimony from defendant's girlfriend regarding the stolen goods. The Court found that there was evidence that connected Defendant with the crime. Affirmed in part, remanded for sentencing.

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