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State v. Medina

Court of Appeals of Oregon

April 2, 2014

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
EMILIO JUNIOR MEDINA, Defendant-Appellant

Submitted: May 29, 2013.

Yamhill County Circuit Court. CR100685. Ronald W. Stone, Judge.

Peter Gartlan, Chief Defender, and Zachary Lovett Mazer, Deputy Public Defender, Office of Public Defense Services, filed the brief for appellant.

Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor General, and Jeremy C. Rice, Assistant Attorney General, filed the brief for respondent.

Before Duncan, Presiding Judge, and Tookey, Judge, and Rasmussen, Judge pro tempore.

OPINION

[262 Or.App. 141] TOOKEY, J.

Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for identity theft under ORS 165.800,[1]

Page 527

which arose out of an incident in which defendant identified himself as another person to a police officer during a traffic stop, signed the name of that other person on documents at the police department, and then submitted those documents to the police.[2] He contends that the trial court erred when it denied his motion for judgment of acquittal. We conclude that the trial court did not err and affirm.

When reviewing the denial of a motion for judgment of acquittal, we " view the evidence in the light most favorable to the state to determine whether a rational trier [262 Or.App. 142] of fact, making reasonable inferences, could have found the essential elements of the crime proved beyond a reasonable doubt." State v. Hall, 327 Ore. 568, 570, 966 P.2d 208 (1998).

Defendant stipulated to the following facts. After a police officer stopped defendant for traffic violations, defendant claimed that he had no driver's license; defendant misidentified himself as " Sergio Molina" and gave the officer a birth date purportedly belonging to that person. The officer ran the provided information through dispatch, but dispatch was unable to locate " Sergio Molina." The officer arrested defendant for failure to carry and present a license and transported defendant to the police department.

During the booking process, someone prepared a property record and a fingerprint card for " Sergio Molina." [3] The documents bear that name as well as a birth date. The fingerprint card also bears defendant's fingerprints and a social security number. Defendant signed the name " Sergio Molina" on the two written documents.

Defendant was cited and released, and defendant's fingerprints were faxed to the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)--a system that obtains, stores, and analyzes fingerprint data. An AFIS employee called the officer and reported defendant's true identity. When the officer later spoke to defendant in jail, where defendant was lodged on a different matter, defendant told the officer that he did not know anyone named " Sergio Molina." Defendant also told the officer that he had lied about his identity because there was a warrant out for his arrest.

The state charged defendant with identity theft under ORS 165.800, alleging that defendant, with the intent to deceive, did " utter or convert to defendant's own use personal identification of 'Sergio Molina.'" The case proceeded to a bench trial, and defendant moved for judgment of acquittal. At trial, defendant argued that ORS 165.800 did not apply to his conduct because, when he signed the property record and fingerprint card at the police department, he was merely continuing the crime of giving false information to a police officer. To support that argument, defendant [262 Or.App. 143] cited State v. Fields, 191 Or.App. 127, 128, 79 P.3d 915 (2003), in which this court held in a per curiam opinion that the defendant did not commit the crime of identity theft when he " identified himself as his friend" to a police officer and " gave the officer his friend's personal identifying information." [4] The state argued, on the other hand, that defendant committed identity theft when he signed the name " Sergio Molina" on the property ...


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