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State of Oregon v. Marvin Opitz

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 05-15-2013
Case #: A146084
Haselton, C.J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; Haselton, C.J.; and Sercombe, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A146084.pdf

Criminal Law: For a conviction of kidnapping the first degree, the defendant must move the victim to a "qualitatively different" location.

Defendant appeals the denial of his MJOA on his first degree kidnapping charge. Defendant contends the State had insufficient evidence to show he moved the victim "from one place to another" as defined under O.R.S. 163.225(1)(a). On September 10, 2000, Defendant came to the victims apartment. He became increasingly agitated, and blamed the victim for a domestic violence conviction that resulted in a 3 month jail sentence. He began assaulting the victim, dragging her room to room in the apartment. The trial court overruled the motion for MJOA and the Defendant was found guilty of first degree kidnapping, among other charges. In order to prove kidnapping in the first degree, the State must show the movement was to a "qualitatively different place" and not "only incidental" to another crime. Here, the Court of Appeals held that the movement from room to room was incidental to the assault. Further, while the rooms in the apartment are functionally different, they are not "qualitatively different." The movement needs to interfere "with another's personal liberty." To establish this, courts look to whether the movement was for the sake of asserting more control. Here, the difference in rooms did not affect Defendant's interference with the victims "personal liberty" and was not for the sake of asserting more control. The Court of Appeals therefore concluded that the trial court erred in denying the defendant's MJOA on the kidnapping in the first degree charge. Reversed and remanded for resentencing; all other charges affirmed.