State v. Hagner

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 04-12-2017
  • Case #: A156340
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J. for the Court; DeHoog, J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OEC 404(3), prior acts evidence is admissible to demonstrate hostile motive if the State establishes a “substantial connecting link” sufficient to show “that the hostility that caused the [prior act] also motivated the charged [offense].”

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for murder under ORS 163.115. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court erred in admitting prior acts evidence under OEC 404(3) because the evidence “was not relevant for any nonpropensity purpose.” State responded that “evidence of both prior acts was relevant to show that defendant had acted with the requisite intent when he shot the victim.” The Court of Appeals overruled the portion of State v. Davis, 156 Or App 117 (1998), which applied the State v. Johns test to hostile-motive evidence, holding that the portion is no longer good law. The Court then concluded that, under OEC 404(3), prior acts evidence is admissible to demonstrate hostile motive where the State establishes a “substantial connecting link” sufficient to show “that the hostility that caused the [prior act] also motivated the charged [offense].” In this case, the prior acts evidence was relevant and admissible to prove defendant's hostile motive toward the victim, which was also probative of his intent when he shot her. Affirmed.

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