In the Matter of M. M. A., a Youth.
M. M. A., Appellant. STATE OF OREGON, Respondent,
and Submitted August 17, 2016
County Circuit Court J140225; Petition Number 01J140225;
Michele C. Rini, Judge pro tempore.
Christa Obold Eshleman argued the cause and fled the brief
P. Robertson, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause
for respondent. With her on the brief were Ellen F.
Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor
DeVore, Presiding Judge, and Garrett, Judge, and James,
Or. 408] Case Summary:
seeks reversal of the juvenile court's adjudication
finding her within its jurisdiction for acts that if
committed by an adult would constitute third-degree assault.
Youth argues that the court's jurisdictional finding is
not supported by sufficient evidence in light of the
court's express findings of fact. She contends that there
was insufficient evidence that she "caused" the
victim's injuries within the meaning of ORS
163.165(1)(e). Held: There was sufficient evidence
in the record that youth caused the victim's injuries.
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the
state, a rational factfinder could find that youth engaged in
conduct so extensively intertwined with the infection of the
victim's injuries that youth's conduct could be found
to have produced the injuries.
Or. 409]GARRETT, J.
result of a fight at school, youth was found to be within the
jurisdiction of the juvenile court for acts that if committed
by an adult would constitute second-degree disorderly
conduct, ORS 166.025, and third-degree assault, ORS
163.165. On appeal, youth seeks reversal of the
third-degree assault adjudication, arguing that the
court's jurisdictional finding on that allegation of the
petition is not supported by sufficient evidence in light of
the court's express findings of fact. The issues on
appeal principally concern whether the state adduced
sufficient evidence that youth "caused" the
victim's injuries, in a fight with multiple participants.
We disagree with youth's arguments, and affirm.
party has requested de novo review, and we decline
to conduct such a review. ORS 19.415(3)(b). Accordingly, we
review the juvenile court's legal conclusions for errors
of law, and we are bound by its findings of historical fact
as long as they are supported by evidence in the record.
State v. J. M. M., 268 Or.App. 699, 703-04, 342 P.3d
1122 (2015). If the court did not make express findings on
disputed issues of fact, and the evidence permits the dispute
to be resolved in more than one way, we presume that the
juvenile court decided the facts in a way that is consistent
with its ultimate legal conclusion. Ball v. Gladden,
250 Or. 485, 487-88, 443 P.2d 621 (1968). We state the facts
consistently with those principles.
fight began when youth confronted the victim in the school
cafeteria, yelling at her while standing very close. The
victim was the first to make physical contact, when she
pushed youth away. Youth then grabbed the victim's hair
[288 Or. 410] and began punching her. At some point,
additional participants, including youth's friend, A,
joined the fight, and at some point youth briefly moved away
from the fight. Near the time that youth was moving away, A
pulled the victim to the floor and was punching and kicking
her. Youth returned to the fight and grabbed or held the
victim while A continued to punch and kick her. Shortly after
youth returned to the fight, it was broken up. The victim
later received treatment for a concussion and neck and back
hearing, there were disputed issues concerning youth's
and the victim's respective assertions of self-defense,
the sequence in which various participants joined the fight,
and the cause and timing of the victim's injuries. The
evidence included a cell phone video of the final 10 seconds
or so of the fight, ending just as the fight was broken up.
Witnesses on both sides viewed the video and described, in
sometimes conflicting ways, what it depicted.
state argued in closing that the victim had pushed youth in
self-defense, that youth had inflicted the victim's head
injury by grabbing the victim's hair and slamming her
head into the floor after that initial push, and that youth
had caused physical injuries by restraining the victim while
A kicked and punched her. The state argued that youth had
been aided by A from the outset.
closing argument, youth argued that she acted in self-defense
after the victim pushed her; that youth initially fought with
the victim but then disengaged; and that the evidence was
insufficient to establish that the victim's injuries
occurred because of youth's conduct as opposed to actions
taken by A after youth had left the fight. Youth argued:
"[A]fter being physically attacked, [youth] defended
herself. And as she was doing that, [the victim's friend]
stepped in, pulled her hair. And that's when [youth]
disengaged [288 Or. 411] from the fray. [A] jumped in, took
[the victim] to the ground where [she] probably suffered her
"And *** there is a-certainly adequate evidence that
[the victim] suffered injuries in this incident. But the
issue is, did [youth] cause those injuries?
"And it's on the ground during the fight where, if
you listen to the evidence, that's probably where the-the
injuries were sustained, while [the victim] was on the
"We have the video evidence. And it's very clear.
You can see [youth] walking away from the fray when the scrum
is still taking place on the ground. She disengaged as soon
as [the victim's friend] started pulling her hair to pull
her away from [the victim]."
assault as it was alleged here requires proof that a person,
"[w]hile being aided by another person actually present,
intentionally or knowingly cause[d] physical injury to
another[.]" ORS 163.165(1)(e). In State v.
Pine,336 Or. 194, 201, 82 P.3d 130 (2003), the Supreme
Court observed that, to prove criminal liability as a
principal under ORS 163.165(1)(e), the state is required to
prove that the defendant caused physical injury to
the victim. Construing the term "causes" as used in
that statute, the court held that the state is required to
prove that the defendant either directly inflicted physical
injury, or that the defendant ...