and submitted January 10, 2017
review from the Court of Appeals, CC 13CR0802; CA
E. Coffn, Deputy Public Defender, Salem, argued the cause and
fled the brief for petitioner on review. Also on the brief
was Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Offce of Public Defense
J. Payne, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, argued the cause
and fled the brief for respondent on review. Also on the
brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin
Gutman, Solicitor General.
Balmer, Chief Justice, and Kistler, Walters, Landau, and
Or. 747] Case Summary:
was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle (UUV). The
state's evidence at trial showed that defendant had
arranged to sell another person's truck, which was in a
significant state of disrepair, for scrap. The trial court
denied defendant's motion for a judgment of acquittal, a
jury thereafter convicted defendant as charged, and the Court
of Appeals affirmed.
vehicle may remain a "vehicle, " within the meaning
of the UUV statute, ORS 164.135, even if it needs
significant, but still reasonable, repairs; but (2) the state
failed to establish that the truck that defendant had
arranged to sell was in such a condition that it would have
been reasonable to restore it to an operable condition; and,
therefore, (3) the trial court erred when it denied
defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal.
decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The conviction
for unauthorized use of a vehicle is reversed. The remaining
convictions are affirmed, but the sentences are vacated, and
the case is remanded for resentencing.
Or. 748] LANDAU, J.
criminal case, defendant arranged to sell another
person's truck for scrap. At the time, the truck was in a
significant state of disrepair. He was charged with, and
ultimately convicted of, unauthorized use of a vehicle (UUV).
ORS 164.135. At trial, he argued that the state had failed to
prove that he had used another person's "vehicle,
" because the truck that he had arranged to sell was in
a state of significant disrepair and was not currently
operable. The trial court disagreed, and the Court of Appeals
affirmed. State v. Eastep, 277 Or.App. 673, 371 P.3d
1287 (2016). On review, defendant argues that, at least as
used in the statute defining the offense of UUV, a
"vehicle" must be capable of operation-which means
either currently operable or operable with ordinary
repairs-and there is no evidence that the truck was capable
of operation. The state argues that the statute contains no
requirement that a vehicle be currently operable or that it
can become operable with ordinary repairs. In the state's
view, a vehicle in need of significant repairs still may
qualify as a "vehicle" under the UUV statute.
agree with the state that the word "vehicle, " as
it is used in ORS 164.135(1)(a), includes no requirement of
either current operability or capability of operation with
only ordinary repairs. A vehicle may remain a
"vehicle" within the meaning of that statute even
if it needs more significant, but still reasonable, repairs.
In this case, however, the state failed to establish that the
truck that defendant had arranged to sell was in such a
condition that it would have been reasonable to restore it to
an operable condition. We therefore reverse defendant's
review the facts, and all reasonable inferences to be drawn
from them, in the light most favorable to the state.
State v. Davis, 360 Or. 201, 205, 377 P.3d 583
(2016). Stuart owned a pickup truck that was about 21 years
old. The truck's "clutch had gone out, " so she
had it towed to a location between her property and a nearby
boat ramp parking lot. Although the truck was not operable,
Stuart used it to store expensive tools. The truck sat by the
boat ramp parking lot for four or five months.
Or. 749] Defendant noticed that the truck had been sitting
there for a few days. He did not know who owned it.
Nevertheless, he called an automobile wrecking company to
have it towed. He completed a form certifying that he had a
possessory lien on the truck and that he had properly
foreclosed on that lien. The company towed the truck and paid
that day, Stuart noticed that the truck was gone. She called
the police to report it stolen. Police investigated and found
that it had been towed away. The automobile wrecking company
later returned the truck to Stuart.
a month after that, Stuart sold the truck for $321, with the
sales price based on weight, to a scrap metal business, in an
effort to "[t]o take whatever [she] could get for
it." A mechanic working for the business was able to
start and run the engine, but the engine and the clutch pedal
were "seized, " and the engine "was rattling
so bad that [it] was no good." He also observed that the
interior was torn up and "no good." The mechanic
determined that the truck was "not capable of
moving" under its own power because either the clutch or
the transmission had seized up and that the truck was
"no good, " "not operable, " and
"strictly just scrap." The owner of the business
planned to have it "scrapped out" by having it
demolished after removing and saving a few windows.
was charged with UUV, for "exercis[ing] control
over" the truck without Stuart's consent, ORS
164.135(1)(a). He was also charged with first-degree theft of
the truck, second-degree theft of the $100 that he received
from the automobile wrecking company, and false swearing. The
case was tried to a jury. At the close of the state's
casein-chief, defendant moved for judgment of acquittal on
the UUV count, arguing that the state was required to prove
that the truck had been "operable" at the time that
he exercised control over it. The trial court denied the
motion. The jury found defendant guilty of UUV, second-degree
theft, and false swearing, and the court entered a judgment
of conviction and sentence on those counts.
appealed the judgment, assigning error to the trial
court's denial of his motion for judgment of [361 Or.
750] acquittal on the UUV count. The Court of Appeals
affirmed, reasoning that nothing in ORS 164.135(1)(a)
required the state to prove ...