State v. Turnidge

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 05-05-2016
  • Case #: S059155
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Linder, S.J. for the Court; Balmer, C.J.; Kistler, J.; Walters, J.; Landau, J.; Brewer, J.; & Baldwing, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OEC 404(3), evidence of other crimes, wrongs or acts is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show that the person acted in conformity therewith. It may, however, be admissible for other purposes, such as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident.

Defendant and his father were jointly charged, tried, and found guilty on ten counts of aggravated murder and other felonies arising from their involvement in a bombing at a bank that killed two law enforcement officers. On direct review under ORS 138.012, Defendant raised 151 assignments of error. One of which related to the admissibility of evidence from Defendant’s 1995 bomb threat on a bank. The State sought to introduce that evidence to show that Defendant had a plan to commit at least some of the charged crimes, as demonstrated by an earlier trial run involving both calling in a threat to a bank teller and observing the police response to the threat. The Court agreed with the trial court and held that this evidence was relevant and admissible under OEC 404(3). The Court also addressed the following assignments of error relating to the pretrial and guilt phases of Defendant’s trial: motion to several trials, motion to suppress statements made to law enforcement, excusal of jurors for cause and destruction of completed jury questionnaires, evidence of defendant’s view about law enforcement and other political and related beliefs, motion for judgment of acquittal, jury instructions and verdict form, and intent as to aggravation. The Court rejected all assignments of error that Defendant raised. Affirmed.

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