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State v. Cadger

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-16-2013
Case #: A147651
Nakamoto, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; Egan, J. vice Wollheim, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A147651.pdf

Criminal Law: A defendant cannot be convicted of escape from a correctional facility under ORS 162.155 when he or she is authorized to depart from the jail and is not under the supervision of a law enforcement official when he or she absconds from a work site.

Defendant appealed a conviction of escape in the second degree from a correctional facility under ORS 162.155(1)(c). While serving a jail sentence, Defendant participated in an inmate work program. Defendant was taken to the county fairgrounds and instructed to stay in the break area except to use the restroom or when instructed to go to an assigned work area. Defendant was subsequently instructed to shovel manure outside the fencing of the fairgrounds. Defendant worked alone, largely unsupervised, and impermissibly left the fairgrounds with his girlfriend in her car. The trial court denied Defendant's motion for acquittal on the grounds that the State did not prove Defendant was in a “correctional facility.” On review, Defendant argued that he was not constructively confined in a correctional facility, but was on a form of temporary release and should instead be charged with unauthorized departure. The State argued that the Court should rely on recent decisions where defendants were considered to be in constructive custody of a correctional facility when they were confined in either a house or a courtroom and told not to leave until taken back into custody. The Court held that Defendant was not under supervision of a law enforcement official when he absconded from his work site and was, therefore, not in constructive custody. The trial court erred in denying the judgment of acquittal. Reversed.