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Oregon Court of Appeals


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State v. Jones

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-26-2011
Case #: A143579
Haselton, P.J. for the Court; Armstrong, J.; & Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A143579.pdf

Criminal Law: Multiple convictions for reckless endangerment will not be merged when a court finds that more than one person was within the zone of danger at the time of the offense.

Defendant was convicted of five counts of reckless endangerment after driving down the freeway in the wrong direction while attempting to elude the police. On appeal, defendant claimed that the trial court should have merged the five counts of reckless endangerment since the purpose of Oregon's reckless endangerment statute is the prohibition on the creation of risk, not necessarily to protect the particular victims placed at risk. The Court of Appeals held that the statute prohibits the merger of multiple reckless counts where specific victims are found within the zone of danger. The Court also held that the defendant failed to show how his counsel’s failure to object to his multiple convictions breached the constitutional standard of competent representation, particularly when such objection would not have resulted in a different outcome. Affirmed.