State v. Vaughn-France

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 06-29-2016
  • Case #: A155485
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Shorr, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Egan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 163.225(1)(b), "secretly confines the person in a place where the person is not likely to be found,” means that a defendant confines a victim in a place where it is not probable that the person will be located, either accidentally or through searching. It is a fact-specific inquiry which takes into account the circumstances of the place, the victim, and the defendant's actions.

Defendant appealed various crimes that arose out of an attack against Defendant’s then-girlfriend in a hotel. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of Defendant’s motion of acquittal on the 1st Degree Kidnapping charge, arguing that the State failed to present evidence that Defendant secretly confined his girlfriend “in a place where [the victim] was not likely to be found,” ORS 163.225(1)(b). The Supreme Court in State v. Parkins, 346 Or 333, 342, 211 P3d 262 (2009), held that the "secretly confines" portion of ORS 163.225(1)(b) means as “a place where it is not probable that the person will be located, either accidentally or through searching.” The Supreme Court in Parkins stressed that it is a fact-specific inquiry, which takes into account the circumstances of the place, the victim, and the defendant’s actions. The Court held that while there was some evidence that a few people knew of the victim's presence in the hotel room, staying in a hotel room is a transient act by nature, and that there was no evidence anyone knew Defendant's girlfriend was in the hotel room during the attack. Further, Defendant's actions during the attack--hiding his girlfriend in the bathroom whenever a third party entered the room or knocked on the door--indicated that Defendant actively prevented third parties who may have helped the victim from finding her. Reversed for resentencing (on other grounds), otherwise affirmed.

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