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State v. Hutton

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 05-16-2012
Case #: A142745
Nakamoto, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Wollheim, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://courts.oregon.gov/Publications/A142745.pdf

Evidence: Evidence of prior misconduct is admissible to show intent even where it is not a contested issue so long as mens rea is an element to a crime charged.

Defendant appealed the trial court's ruling allowing in evidence of a prior bad act. Defendant was accused of hitting his girlfriend, Ms. Feinstein in the mouth and burning her with a cigarette during an argument. He was subsequently charged and convicted of two counts of fourth-degree assault and two counts of harassment. After Defendant's opening statement the State moved in limine for a ruling on the admissibility of Defendant's prior act of hitting the Ms. Feinstein in the lip during an argument. Defendant asserts that the trial court's ruling was in error because the evidence was proffered to prove intent, which was not in dispute because Defendant was denying that he caused the injuries to Ms. Feinstein. The Court of Appeals held that where intent is an element to a crime charged the State is permitted to offer evidence of prior misconduct to show intent even where the accused is not contesting the issue of intent. Affirmed.