State v. Martine

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 04-06-2016
  • Case #: A155840
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan P.J. for the Court; Hadlock C.J.; & Haselton S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The State has not met its burden of showing legally sufficient proof that physical evidence was discarded if a jury has to use impermissible speculation to agree with the State.

The Defendant appealed and assigned error to the trial court's denial of his motion for judgments of acquittal for both his convictions of tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution. On appeal, Defendant claimed that the electronic device he discarded was not "physical evidence" of the offenses charged because the State did not show legally sufficient proof that the device was related to the offenses he was charged with. The Court agreed and concluded that a jury could not decide that the device was physical evidence related to a pending or immediately impending proceeding without impermissible speculation. As a result, the trial court committed reversible error by not granting Defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal. However, the Court further concluded that the Defendant had engaged in attempted tampering with physical evidence and attempted hindering prosecution. The convictions were reversed but the case was remanded with instructions for the trial court to enter verdicts for attempted tampering with physical evidence and attempted hindering prosecution.

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