State v. Ardizzone

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 05-06-2015
  • Case #: A150918
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; DeVore, J.; & De Muniz, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OEC 404(3), a trial court does not abuse its discretion by admitting evidence of past criminal convictions offered to prove a criminal defendant's intent, so long as the trial court properly balances the relevance and prejudicial impact of the evidence.

Defendant appealed a conviction of solicitation to commit aggravated murder, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence of his past criminal conviction. In the alternative, Defendant argued that the admission of the evidence violated his constitutional right to Due Process. Over Defendant’s objection, the trial court admitted evidence of Defendant's previous conviction for soliciting the murder of his ex-girlfriend. In fact, Defendant was serving time for that conviction when, again, he solicited his cellmate to murder his ex-girlfriend, resulting in the charges at hand. The state offered the previous conviction as evidence of Defendant’s intent to solicit the murder. Defendant argued that the evidence, while credible and relevant, was far too prejudicial to be admissible. On appeal, Defendant argued that 1) he never stipulated to the previous conviction and therefore the jury should have been instructed that it could only consider that evidence if it determined that the charged conduct had occurred; and 2) admission of the prior conviction was unduly-prejudicial, violating his due process rights. The Court dismissed both of Defendant’s arguments as unpreserved, because Defendant had conceded at trial that the evidence was relevant to show his mental state, and because Defendant failed to raise his due process argument at trial. Affirmed.

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