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Oregon v. Ralph Lake Ledford

September 28, 1973

STATE OF OREGON, RESPONDENT,
v.
RALPH LAKE LEDFORD, APPELLANT



Appeal from Circuit Court, Linn County. Courtney R. Johns, Judge. No. 42091.

John K. Hoover, Deputy Public Defender, Salem, argued the cause for appellant. With him on the brief was Gary D. Babcock, Public Defender, Salem.

Thomas H. Denney, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Lee Johnson, Attorney General, and John W. Osburn, Solicitor General, Salem.

Langtry, Presiding Judge, and Foley and Fort, Judges.

Langtry

Defendant was indicted for first degree theft (ORS 164.055). The property involved was a 1972 Ford, 4-wheel drive, 3/4-ton pickup. He was convicted by a jury, and appeals.

The state's evidence showed that the pickup had disappeared from a dealer's lot in Junction City in Lane County, and parts of it were later found in a secluded area on Buck Mountain near Foster in Linn County. One Ira Laney was apprehended with parts from the stolen pickup installed in his 1963 pickup. These parts were valued at over $1,400. Laney testified that defendant had sold him these parts for $200

and told him how he and another man had taken the pickup and cut it up before setting the remains on fire.

Laney's testimony was the only evidence that linked defendant to the crime. At the close of the state's case, defense counsel moved:

"MR. TRISKA: For the record, Your Honor, at this time I would move for acquittal on the grounds that the State has not made a pima [sic] facie case. For the record I'm stating this.

"THE COURT: Very well. That motion will be denied."

Defendant assigns the denial of this motion as error on the grounds that Ira Laney was an accomplice as a matter of law and that, since there was no evidence to corroborate his testimony as required by ORS 136.550,*fn1 the ...


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