State v. Stewart
Case #: A146652
Duncan, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Wollheim, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A146652.pdf
Criminal Procedure: Upon review of a judgment of acquittal, the court looks at the facts, in a light most favorable to the respondent, to determines if any reasonable trier of facts could find that the essential elements were proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
Defendant appealed her conviction on six counts of theft, four counts of making a false claim for healthcare payments, two counts of unlawfully obtaining food stamps, and one count of tax evasion. Defendant argued that no rational trier of fact could find her guilty of the charges due to lack of evidence and excessive stacking of inferences. In this case, Defendant was charged with aiding and abetting in a scheme to obtain fraudulent healthcare payments, omitting required information on her food stamp benefit application, and improperly including her nephew as a tax deduction. The Court of Appeals held that the evidence presented was too speculative for a reasonable trier of fact to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of aiding or abetting in the commission of first degree theft and making a false claim for health care. However, the Court found that there was sufficient evidence to deny acquittal for unlawfully obtaining food stamps and improperly including her nephew as a tax deduction. Counts 3 through 8 reversed and remanded; remanded for resentencing; otherwise affirmed.