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State v. Hogeland

Court of Appeals of Oregon

April 26, 2017

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
JASON KENNETH HOGELAND, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued and submitted September 13, 2016, St. Mary's Academy, Portland.

         Douglas County Circuit Court 12CR2043FE George William Ambrosini, Judge.

          Morgen E. Daniels, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant. With her on the brief was Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, Offce of Public Defense Services.

          Susan Yorke, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. With her on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

          Before Sercombe, Presiding Judge, and DeHoog, Judge, and Flynn, Judge pro tempore.

         Case Summary:

         Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for assault in the second and third degree and criminal mistreatment in the first degree. He raises two assignments of error. First, he argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress statements that he argues were involuntary under ORS 136.425(1) and the Oregon and United States constitutions. Second, he asserts that the trial court plainly erred in failing to instruct the jury that it could not consider his statements without first fending that he had made them voluntarily. Held: The trial court erred in admitting defendant's statements, because they were induced by promises or "made under the influence of fear produced by threats[, ]" ORS 136.425(1). Because that issue was dispositive, the court did not reach defendant's second assignment of error.

         Convictions on Counts 2, 3, and 4 reversed and remanded; otherwise affirmed.

          DEHOOG, J.

         A jury found defendant guilty of assault in the second and third degree and criminal mistreatment in the first degree based, in part, on defendant's admissions that he had shaken his infant son. Defendant appeals the resulting judgment of conviction, raising two assignments of error. First, defendant contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress his admissions, because, in defendant's view, they were involuntary under ORS 136.425(1) and the Oregon and United States constitutions. Second, defendant argues that the trial court plainly erred in failing to instruct the jury that it could not consider his statements without first finding that he had made them voluntarily. We conclude that the trial court erred in admitting defendant's admissions, because they were induced by promises or "made under the influence of fear produced by threats[, ]" ORS 136.425(1), and, therefore, inadmissible. In light of that conclusion, we do not address defendant's second assignment of error. Accordingly, we reverse and remand.

         The material facts are undisputed. Defendant was a stay-at-home parent. One day, when defendant was home alone caring for his son, he called his wife at work because their child was not responsive. She returned home and, shortly thereafter, their child was taken to the hospital, where an emergency medical examination disclosed that the child had suffered head injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome. Following that assessment, Jenkins, a caseworker for the Department of Human Services (DHS), contacted defendant and told him to go to the police station for an interview. The following morning, defendant drove with his mother to the police station, where he was interviewed by Jenkins and Officer McGarvey of the Sutherlin Police Department.

         McGarvey and Jenkins spoke to defendant in a small, sparsely furnished interview room with the door closed. Even though defendant was not handcuffed or otherwise physically restrained and, in fact, McGarvey told him that he was free to go, McGarvey advised defendant of his Miranda rights. McGarvey explained to defendant that he was being interviewed "[b]ecause [his] child was so young and-taken up to a hospital because of injuries, " and "we want to make sure that there's nothing going on that's criminal." McGarvey questioned defendant for several minutes regarding the cause of his son's injuries; defendant responded that he did not know their cause.

         McGarvey left the room briefly, while Jenkins continued to question defendant. Upon returning, McGarvey told defendant that he was in trouble, because the evidence clearly showed that he was responsible for his son's injuries. McGarvey said, "We need to talk about some things. I have to actually before I can make final decisions on certain things; I've got to know what kind of person I'm dealing with here." McGarvey pressed defendant to explain why he had injured his son, specifically asking whether defendant had "set out to kill" his child or, instead, "accidentally shook his kid too hard." McGarvey explained to defendant that "[T]he crime has already been established. * * * I establish the person and what they've committed at what level." McGarvey added that defendant needed to tell him "the honest truth *** was it an accident, or was it on purpose, because if it's on purpose, I'll tell you right now, * * * that is bad. That's something I need to strongly look into *** [a]nd you will not only have the chance of having your baby taken out of your life forever, but you will also be looking at a long time." (Emphases added.)

         McGarvey elaborated, telling defendant that he needed to know if "an accident has happened. A person has made a bad choice. Do we convict this person and make them a huge [example] for the world to see? No. We make sure this person has help." (Emphases added.) As further encouragement, McGarvey made up a story for defendant, claiming that he himself had once picked up his son

"out of anger and my wife caught me. I had anger issues. I went to anger ...

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