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State v. Reynolds

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 06-20-2012
Case #: A142472
Sercombe, J. for the Court; En Banc; Schuman, J. concurring; Haselton, C.J. concurring in part, dissenting in part.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A142472.pdf

Criminal Law: In an assault in which the aiding person is present, an assisting assailant may not be charged with assault in the third-degree as an accomplice.

Defendant appealed a conviction of assault in the third-degree. Defendant stole property from two individuals. The victims chased down the Defendant and her partner and a fight broke out. Defendant did not cause any physical injury to the victim. Defendant was charged with third-degree assault, stating that she "did unlawfully and knowingly cause physical injury to the victim while aided by another person actually present." Defendant said the trial court committed plain error and based her argument on State v. Merida-Medina, which held an aiding person in an assault could not be found guilty of third-degree assault as an accomplice and the court should correct the plain error. The Court of Appeals held that the evidence did not support a conviction of third-degree assault because the Defendant's did not inflict any injuries on the victim. Secondly, under ORAP 5.45, the Court had the discretion to correct the error because the error was grave and failing to correct a criminal conviction would seriously detriment the Defendant's constitutional due process guarantees. Third-degree assault conviction reversed and remanded for assault in the fourth-degree.