Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Erickson

Court of Appeals of Oregon

November 8, 2017

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
JERALD ALLEN ERICKSON, Defendant-Appellant.

          Submitted November 22, 2016

         Linn County Circuit Court 13CR10601; Carol R. Bispham, Judge.

          Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, and Kristin A. Carveth, Deputy Public Defender, Offce of Public Defense Services, fled the brief for appellant.

          Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, and Karla H. Ferrall, Assistant Attorney General, fled the brief for respondent.

          Before DeHoog, Presiding Judge, and Egan, Judge, and Aoyagi, Judge.

         Case Summary: A jury found defendant guilty of first-degree theft, second-degree criminal trespass, and second-degree criminal mischief based on evidence that he broke down and sold as scrap metal an old excavator that he had found on private property. Defendant appeals the resulting judgment of conviction and assigns error to the trial court's denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal (MJOA) as to the theft and criminal mischief charges, arguing that the state failed to prove that the excavator had an owner. Held: The trial court erred by denying defendant's MJOA because the state failed to adduce evidence that the excavator was the property of another, an essential element of both first-degree theft and second-degree criminal mischief.

         Convictions on Counts 1 and 4 reversed; remanded for resentencing; otherwise affrmed.

         [288 Or.App. 705] DEHOOG, P. J.

         A jury found defendant guilty of first-degree theft, second-degree criminal trespass, and second-degree criminal mischief for breaking down and selling as scrap metal an old excavator that he had found on private property. Defendant appeals the resulting judgment of conviction and assigns error to the trial court's denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal as to the theft and criminal mischief charges. Defendant argues that the state failed to prove that he took "property from an owner" or that the excavator was, in fact, the "property of another, " because it adduced no evidence that the excavator had an owner. We agree with defendant that the state failed to prove an essential element of the theft and criminal mischief charges, and we reverse his convictions on those counts.

         Because defendant's appeal arises from the denial of a motion for judgment of acquittal, we state the facts in the light most favorable to the state. State v. Gaines, 346 Or. 160, 162, 206 P.3d 1042 (2009). Defendant and a friend entered private land without the owner's knowledge or consent. There they found an excavator, which they disassembled and later sold as scrap metal. Various individuals witnessed different aspects of defendant's activities. First, Larry Coon, a member of a local mining club, came across defendant while he and his friend were taking apart the excavator. Coon was familiar with the property because his mining club had a mining claim on that land. Coon testified that he knew that the excavator had been on the property for a long time, but that he did not know who owned it.

         Next, Deputy Wilcox of the Linn County Sheriff's Office encountered defendant and his friend at the excavator site with a large piece of metal loaded onto a flatbed trailer. Defendant told Wilcox that they were scrapping the metal. He told the deputy that they had talked to a miner the day before and that he had given them permission to take the metal. Wilcox responded by asking both men to leave and telling them to first remove the metal from their trailer because they did not have permission to take it.

         Several days later, another deputy, Schrader, came across a trailer that was stuck in the mud and loaded with [288 Or.App. 706] what he recognized as a counterweight to an excavator. He drove to the excavator site and confirmed that it no longer had its counterweight. The following day, Schrader again saw the trailer carrying the counterweight, but at a different location. When the truck pulling the trailer drove off, Schrader followed it to a scrap metal dealer, B&B Auto Wrecking (B&B). Once there, Schrader spoke with defendant, who had been riding in the truck. Defendant told Schrader that the owner of the land on which he had found the excavator had given him permission to take the metal, but he was unable to tell Schrader the owner's name.

         Rather than seize the counterweight, Schrader proceeded to scrap the metal with B&B for $1, 058.40 and logged that sum into evidence. Schrader later determined that B&B's records showed that defendant and his friend had been paid $1, 320.50 for scrap metal that they had sold there a few days earlier.

         Schrader testified that, although he had tried, he had been unable to determine who owned the excavator. He explained that he had spoken with the owners of the property where the excavator had been located, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.