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State v. Carpenter

Court of Appeals of Oregon

September 13, 2017

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
SHANNON DEWAYNE CARPENTER, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued and Submitted May 2, 2017, Chiloquin High School, Chiloquin.

         Curry County Circuit Court 15CR0052; Jesse C. Margolis, Judge.

          Rond Chananudech, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant. With him on the brief was Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, Offce of Public Defense Services.

          Paul L. Smith, Deputy Solicitor General, argued the cause for respondent. On the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, and Jennifer S. Lloyd, Assistant Attorney General.

          Before Ortega, Presiding Judge, and DeVore, Judge, and Garrett, Judge.

         Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for hindering prosecution and possession of a controlled substance, raising two assignments of error. First, defendant assigns error to the trial court's denial of his motion for a judgment of acquittal, arguing that the state presented insufficient evidence that defendant "concealed" a person within the meaning of ORS 162.325(1) (a) when he lied to law enforcement about a fugitive's presence at the scene or nearby. Second, defendant assigns error to the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence of a controlled substance found after he was arrested for hindering prosecution because officers lacked probable cause to arrest him on that charge. Held: The trial court did not err in denying defendant's motions. A reasonable jury could conclude that defendant acted to "conceal" a person within the meaning of ORS 162.325(1)(a), as construed in State v. Turley, 202 Or.App. 40, 120 P.3d 1229 (2005), rev den, 340 Or. 157 (2006) and State v. Hutchins, 281 Or.App. 495, 383 P.3d 399 (2016). Therefore, because defendant acted to conceal

         [287 Or. 721] the fugitive, the arresting officer had probable cause to arrest defendant for hindering prosecution.

         [287 Or. 722] DEVORE, J.

         Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for hindering prosecution and possession of a controlled substance, raising two assignments of error. First, defendant challenges the denial of his motion for a judgment of acquittal, arguing that the state presented insufficient evidence that defendant concealed a person. Second, defendant contends that, because he did not conceal a person, the police lacked probable cause to arrest him for hindering prosecution and, as a result, the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence of oxycodone found on his person after the arrest. We affirm.

         When reviewing a denial of a motion for a judgment of acquittal, we state the facts in the light most favorable to the state. State v. Kavlor. 252 Or.App. 688, 690, 289 P.3d 290 (2012), rev den, 353 Or. 428 (2013). We then determine whether "a rational trier of fact could have found that the state proved all the essential elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt." Id. at 691.

         Detective Gardiner had a felony warrant for the arrest of Gerald Haussler. After receiving a neighbor's call that Haussler was on Haussler's property, Gardiner drove to the property to arrest him. The only structure on the property was a two-car garage with a door on the side of the garage. Gardiner pulled up to the garage and saw a white pickup truck parked on the driveway with an electric air pump connected to one of the tires. As he was looking around the outside of the garage, Gardiner saw the side door swing open to the outside and saw a person, wearing jeans and white tennis shoes, run away. Gardiner did not see "who exited." He saw only "a leg from about the knee down." Gardiner believed that the person was Haussler because Haussler typically wears Levi's and white tennis shoes and has a tendency to run from law enforcement. Rather than chase the man, Gardiner looked in the garage briefly, but did not notice anyone inside. Gardiner returned to his patrol car to call for backup.

         About a minute later, Gardiner saw defendant and a woman, Sanchez, on the property, who "appeared to have come from inside the garage area." Gardiner told defendant [287 Or. 723] that he was looking for Haussler and that Gardiner had a felony warrant for Haussler's arrest. Defendant denied knowing where Haussler was, and he denied knowing Haussler. Gardiner told defendant that he just saw someone run and that he believed it was Haussler who had "just fled from the area." He advised defendant about the "hindering prosecution laws." Nevertheless, at least four times, defendant denied knowing Haussler. Gardiner asked who might have run, and defendant said he did not know who had run and did not "acknowledge that anybody had run."[1] Defendant denied coming onto the property with Haussler and claimed that he had arrived with Sanchez in the truck.

         Gardiner then spoke briefly to the neighbor who had seen Haussler arrive in the truck. Gardiner returned to defendant and again asked him if he knew Haussler, and still defendant denied knowing him. Gardiner believed that he had sufficient probable cause to arrest defendant for hindering prosecution but decided not to because he was "more interested in catching Mr. Haussler * * * and I believed [he] was just a short distance away in the brush."

         Later that day, officers found Haussler on adjacent property hiding on an embankment. Shortly after, Deputy Gray, upon Gardiner's report, arrested defendant for hindering prosecution and took defendant to jail. At the county jail, an employee saw two straws fall out of defendant's shoes ...


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