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State v. Gruver

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 09-18-2013
Case #: A146586
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; and and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A146586.pdf

Criminal Law: Leaving the supervision of an unarmed civilian not on the premises of a correctional facility is not escape in the second or third degree and instead constitutes unauthorized departure under ORS 162.175.

Defendant appealed his conviction of second-degree escape and the denial of a motion for judgment of acquittal on his conviction of third-degree escape. Defendant was an inmate at Lincoln County Jail, and was authorized to spend part of his day working at the Lincoln County Animal Shelter. Defendant was left under the supervision of an unarmed civilian. Defendant left the shelter without permission and was later apprehended and charged with second- and third-degree escape. He was found guilty of both and the trial court merged the convictions, resulting in a 10-month sentence and fines. Defendant argued he should have instead been charged with unauthorized departure from a "temporary release" under ORS 162.175. The Court interpreted “temporary release” by reading contextual statutes discussing such "temporary releases" such as "alcohol treatment" and found it similar to this case. Because Defendant was guarded by an unarmed civilian, he was not confined in a correctional facility under ORS 162.155 and could not be guilty of escape in the second or third degree. The Court found Defendant was guilty only of unauthorized departure under ORS 162.175. Reversed and remanded for entry of judgment of conviction for unauthorized departure under ORS 162.175 and for resentencing.