Willamette Law Online

Oregon Court of Appeals


State v. Torres-Rivas

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-14-2011
Case #: A142542
Brewer, C.J. for the Court; Haselton, P.J.; & Armstrong, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A142542.pdf

Evidence: A trial court’s refusal to admit evidence of a victim’s bias toward a defendant is harmless if there is other evidence in the record that tends to prove such bias.

Defendant was convicted of menacing and disorderly conduct. On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court erred in refusing to admit the victim’s purported statement that “the Mexicans are taking all the jobs,” which he argued demonstrated that the victim was biased toward defendant, who is Hispanic. The Court of Appeals affirmed, finding that although the trial court did err in concluding that the statement did not tend to prove the victim’s bias, there was other evidence in the record sufficient to prove such bias. Thus, the error was harmless and reversal was unnecessary. Affirmed.