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State v. Johnson

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 06-13-2012
Case #: A143312
Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Brewer, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A143312.pdf

Criminal Law: Under ORS 166.382(1)(a)(A), the meaning of the term "bomb" requires that a device be capable of detonating under certain conditions. The statute does not suggest that a device is not a "bomb" just because the device is temporarily disabled.

Defendant appealed the trial court's denial of a motion for judgment of acquittal on the charge of unlawful possession of a destructive device. Defendant was found in possession of two electrical blasting caps. The State charged Defendant with one count of unlawful possession of a destructive device on the theory that the blasting cap is a "bomb" within the meaning of ORS 166.382(1)(a)(A). Defendant argued that the blasting cap cannot constitute a "bomb" because it was shunted and was therefore, temporarily disabled. A shunt is a piece of metal that prevents the blasting cap from detonating by blocking electrical current that is required for detonation. The Court previously stated in State ex rel Juv. Dept. v. Garrett that, where the device at issue contains an explosive component, the plain meaning of the term "bomb" is "a device carrying an explosive charge fused to detonate under certain conditions." Additionally, the Court found no text or legislative history in ORS 166.382(1)(a) that would support the Defendant's argument that a device was not a "bomb" because it was temporarily disabled. Therefore, the State produced sufficient evidence that the blasting cap possessed by the Defendant was a "bomb" within the meaning of the statute, and the motion for judgment of acquittal was properly denied. Affirmed.