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State v. Hesedahl

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-21-2011
Case #: A142525
Wollheim, J. for the Court; Schuman, P. J; & Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A142525.pdf

Criminal Law: Verbal encouragement of a person committing an assault constitutes aiding the assault if the person was at hand, or within reach, sight, or call during the assault and presented an added threat to the victim's safety.

Defendant attacked the victim while being verbally encouraged by a companion who stood just behind the defendant. Defendant was convicted of four counts of assault, including assault in the third degree (Count 2). The trial court sentenced defendant to 96 months of imprisonment, including a presumptive sentence of 14 months on Count 2. Defendant sought reversal of his conviction and sentence on Count 2, arguing that the state failed to prove he was "aided" by another person actually present, because under Oregon law, verbal encouragement to the person committing the assault does not constitute aiding. The state responded that a defendant is "aided" if the person is "at hand, or within reach, sight or call during" the assault and "presented an added threat to the victim's safety." The Court of Appeals concluded that a jury could reasonably find that the defendant's companion encouraged defendant and therefore aided him in the assault. Affirmed.