State v. Alexander

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 09-16-2015
  • Case #: A151976
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Garrett, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & DeVore, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

For third degree assault, extreme indifference to the value of human life is satisfied by intoxicated driving plus other erratic, reckless conduct that demonstrates a state of mind where an individual cares little about the risk of death of a human being.

Defendant was convicted of two counts third degree assault. Defendant assigns error to the trial court’s denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal on the two counts of assault, arguing that the state failed to prove sufficient evidence to support a finding that Defendant’s conduct manifested “extreme indifference to the value of human life.” Defendant drove a group of men home after a night of drinking. Defendant drove faster after being asked to slow down and crashed the car into a ditch. Defendant argues that driving at a high speed does not satisfy the requirement for third degree assault that Defendant exhibit extreme indifference to the value of human life. Extreme indifference means “a state of mind where an individual cares little about the risk of death of a human being.” Similar cases have held that intoxicated driving paired with evidence of erratic, reckless conduct satisfies third degree assault. Defendant chose to drive while intoxicated, after having taken safety courses about drinking and driving, and responded to requests to drive slower by driving faster. State produced evidence sufficient to support finding of extreme indifference to the value of human life. The trial court did not err in denying defendant’s motion for a judgment of acquittal. Affirmed.

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