Willamette Law Online

Oregon Court of Appeals


ListPreviousNext


State v. Worthington

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 07-11-2012
Case #: A142983
Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Brewer, J; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A142983.pdf

Criminal Law: Under ORS 163.200(1)(a), the material part of the charge is the failure to provide necessary and adequate medical care, not whether the actions led to death or another result. For a motion in arrest of judgment, the grounds for a challenge must be based on the face of the accusatory instrument without any inclusion of extrinsic facts.

Defendant appealed his second-degree criminal mistreatment conviction. Defendant practices under the Followers of Christ Church. The Followers of Christ Church do not practice modern medicine, believing it substandard to the powers of faith healing. Defendant’s daughter died from pneumonia due to a cystic mass, which the Defendant and his Church treated using faith healing. Defendant argued that the trial court erred in refusing his requested jury instruction requiring the State to convict him on a knowledge standard because his actions were based on religious practices that were protected under the Oregon Constitution. Defendant also argued the trial court erred in denying his motion in arrest of judgment because, based on his religious practices, the indictment did not state a crime. The Court of Appeals held that requiring a knowledge standard is an inaccurate statement of law. ORS 163.200 merely requires the State to prove that there was a failure to provide necessary and adequate medical care, not that the result would be death. Secondly, a motion in arrest of judgment may not be based on extrinsic facts. To address the Defendant’s motion, the Court would have had to look at the outside evidence of Defendant’s religious practices. Affirmed.