Submitted August 23, 2016
County Circuit Court 130545740 Michael C. Zusman, Judge pro
G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, and
Matthew Blythe, Deputy Public Defender, Offce of Public
Defense Services, fled the briefs for appellant.
F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Paul L. Smith, Deputy
Solicitor General, and David B. Thompson, Assistant Attorney
General, fled the brief for respondent.
Sercombe, Presiding Judge, and Hadlock, Chief Judge, and
Summary: Defendant appeals from a judgment of conviction for
initiating a false report, ORS 162.375. Defendant assigns
error to the trial court's denial of her motion for a
judgment of acquittal. Defendant argues that she did not
"initiate" a false report to the police officer as
that term is used in the statute. She contends that her
fiancé initiated a false report that their car had
been involved in a hit and run accident, and that she
provided false information in response to police questioning
after that report had already been initiated. Held:
When two persons act in concert and simultaneously make a
false report to a police officer, each can commit the crime
of initiating a false report. Defendant and her fiancé
jointly initiated a single, false report to the police
SERCOMBE, P. J.
appeals a judgment of conviction for initiating a false
report, ORS 162.375. Defendant contends that the trial court
erred in denying her motion for judgment of acquittal (MJOA)
because she did not "initiate" a report as that
term is used in the statute. As explained below, we conclude
that the trial court correctly construed ORS 162.375 and that
the evidence presented by the state was sufficient to support
defendant's conviction. Consequently, the court did not
err in denying defendant's motion, and we affirm.
review a trial court's denial of an MJOA, "we view
the evidence in the light most favorable to the state."
State v. Rodriguez, 283 Or.App. 536, 537, 390 P.3d
1104, rev den, 361 Or. 543 (2017) (internal
quotation marks omitted). We state the facts consistently
with that standard.
2, 2013, around 6:00 p.m., Gresham Police Officer Marciano
was driving to a priority call, when he came upon a
two-vehicle accident that had occurred near the intersection
of Glisan and 188th Street. He stopped to see if there were
any injuries and spoke with the parties who were involved-one
of whom was defendant. Marciano learned that there were no
injuries and that the parties intended to exchange
information; he left the scene.
same evening, around 7:00 p.m., Officer Culp was driving on
Northeast Multnomah Street, approximately 10 blocks from the
location of the two-vehicle accident, when he was flagged
down by defendant's fiance, Coleman; Culp pulled over.
Defendant was with Coleman-they were standing in a parking
lot near their car, a Chrysler Pacifica. Coleman told Culp
that their "car was just hit" and that the car that
had hit it had taken off. Moments later, defendant backed up
Coleman's story and falsely told Culp that she had heard
the crash and saw an older, maroon SUV take off heading west
on Northeast Multnomah; she told Culp that she had not seen
the driver of the SUV. She also told Culp that she had pulled
her car into the parking lot after the crash occurred. The
truth was that the damage to the car had resulted from the
earlier accident in which defendant had been involved, and
that there had not been a hit and run accident. [286 Or. 402]
had doubts about the damage to the car occurring in the
manner that defendant and Coleman had reported to him. He
followed up by starting to fill out a DMV crash report and by
talking to Marciano about the accident that he had come upon
earlier in the evening. Marciano confirmed that defendant and
the Chrysler Pacifica were the same person and vehicle that
he had encountered at the accident at Glisan and 188th. Both
police officers went to defendant's residence around
11:00 p.m. and spoke with her. She ultimately ...