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State v. Smith

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-17-2012
Case #: A143661
Sercombe, P.J. for the Court; Brewer, J.; and Egan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A143661.pdf

Criminal Law: Once a defendant who has wrongfully appropriated items has been notified that a victim considers property to be stolen, the defendant can no longer claim he did not have knowledge that the items were stolen.

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for first-degree theft by receiving, arguing that the trial court erred when denying his motion for judgment of acquittal. Defendant was given permission to sell some of the victim's items. Defendant maintained possession of the items and the proceeds from their sale because he believed that the victim was indebted to him. Defendant argued that because he asserted a valid claim in some of the items as repayment for services rendered and that he had a history with the victim of trading services for property, he did not have knowledge the items were stolen. The State argued that as soon as the Defendant spoke with an officer inquiring about the missing items and informed Defendant that the victim would like to regain possession of the items, that he was put on notice to return the items. The Court concluded that because the Defendant was made aware that the victim had reported the items stolen and still did not return the items to the victim, that Defendant either knew or believed that the property was stolen. Therefore, there was sufficient evidence to support actual knowledge that the items were the subject of theft. Affirmed.