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State v. Elliott

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 04-04-2012
Case #: A141606
Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Brewer, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A141606.pdf

Criminal Law: When a defendant is charged with identity theft, evidence that a defendant stole credit cards is legally sufficient to permit a jury to infer the defendant's intent to deceive or defraud beyond a reasonable doubt, even when the defendant took no action in furtherance of that identity theft.

Defendant appealed his jury conviction for several counts, including four counts of identity theft. The Defendant stole five credit cards, two checks, and a PDA after rummaging through a desk in a private office. Defendant was apprehended almost immediately and admitted to the theft. At trial, Defendant moved for a judgment of acquittal, arguing that the evidence that he stole and possessed the credit cards was insufficient to prove intent to deceive or defraud as required by the statute. The trial court denied Defendant’s motion and a jury convicted him. Defendant appealed. In McAtee, the Court held that it is up to a jury to decide whether a reasonable inference flows from a particular set of facts. Based on its ruling in McAtee, the Court affirmed, holding that there was a reasonable probability that Defendant intended to deceive or defraud because he chose to keep only those items that could easily be used to steal another’s identity. Affirmed.