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. Riley

Court of Appeals of Oregon

November 15, 2017

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
JEMAELL DIAMOND RILEY, aka Jemaell Diamondomi Riley, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued and submitted May 11, 2017

         Multnomah County Circuit Court 140431549; Jerry B. Hodson, Judge.

          Andrew D. Robinson, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant. With him on the briefs was Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, Offce of Public Defense Services.

          Jacob Brown, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

          Before DeVore, Presiding Judge, and James, Judge, and Haselton, Senior Judge. [*]

         [288 Or.App. 808] Case Summary: Defendant appeals a judgment convicting him on 17 counts of a variety of offenses for a crime spree that spanned several days. On appeal, defendant raises 15 assignments of error, including challenges to the trial court's denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal, in which he argued that defendant's connection to the crimes alleged in Counts 21 and 26 and Counts 22 to 25 was solely through the testimony of his accomplices, without extrinsic evidence connecting him to the crime as required by ORS 136.440(1). Held: As to Counts 22 to 25, the court erred in denying defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal because the evidence presented was insufficiently independent of the accomplice testimony. As to Counts 21 and 26, the court erred in denying defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal because there was insufficient evidence of the corpus delicti that a crime occurred at all.

         Judgment of conviction on Counts 21 through 26 reversed; remanded for resentencing; otherwise affirmed.

         [288 Or.App. 809]

          JAMES, J.

         Defendant appeals a judgment convicting him on 17 counts of a variety of offenses for a crime spree that spanned several days. For purposes of our opinion, only three episodes in that spree are relevant for discussion. Each episode is discussed in detail below, but in summary, the first involves an attempted kidnapping and robbery on April 2, 2014, (the Johnson episode). There, the state alleged that the defendant and his accomplices conspired to kidnap Johnson, a jewelry store employee, with the intention of forcing Johnson to open safes in various store locations using his employee keys. The second involves an attempted robbery of a T-Mobile store on April 15, 2014, (the T-Mobile episode). There, the state alleged that defendant and his accomplices conspired to perform a "strong arm" robbery on a T-Mobile store as the employees were closing the store for the evening. The third involves the burglary of a uniform supply store on April 15, 2014, (the Blumenthal's episode). There, officers observed suspects burglarizing the Blumenthal's store and a chase ensued, which resulted in the apprehension of defendant and two accomplices.

         On appeal, defendant raises 15 assignments of error including challenges to the trial court's denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal, in which he argued that defendant's connection to the crimes alleged in Counts 21 and 26 (the T-Mobile episode) and Counts 22 through 25 (the Johnson episode) was solely through the testimony of his accomplices, without the extrinsic evidence connecting him to the crime as required by ORS 136.440(1). We agree, and accordingly reverse Counts 21 through 26.[1]

         Because defendant was apprehended following the Blumenthal's episode, we relate the details of that incident first. In the early morning hours of April 15, 2014, Portland [288 Or.App. 810] Police Officer Livingston learned that an alarm had gone off at a Blumenthal's Uniform Store on Barbur Boulevard. Upon checking the business he observed that the back door had been damaged in a possible attempt to gain entry. He also noticed that close by was a white Suburban. Ultimately, he left the scene.

         Later that morning, around 2:00 a.m., Livingston was driving around that same area when he again saw the white Suburban in the vicinity of Blumenthal's. He became suspicious and called in other officers, who staged themselves in areas where the suspects could no longer see them, but they could conduct surveillance. Within 20 minutes the Suburban drove into the back alleyway behind the Blumenthal's.

         One of the officers walked past the alleyway and saw a person wheeling a container from Blumenthal's to the Suburban. Shortly thereafter, the vehicle drove away. Another officer checked the back door and found that it was no longer secured, and saw evidence of a burglary.

         Sergeant Holbrook fell in behind the Suburban and activated his overhead lights, but the suspects did not stop. A chase ensued involving the Suburban and three or four patrol cars. During that chase the suspect vehicle crashed into a pole, and the driver, Ropp, fled on foot

         Inside the Suburban, officers found Young and defendant, as well as numerous firearms, explosives, Molotov cocktails, zip ties, gloves, and binoculars.

         Very quickly upon interrogation Young offered to assist the police and testify at trial regarding the events of that night, as well as various crimes he claimed that Ropp, himself, and defendant had been involved in over the preceding months, including the Johnson and T-Mobile episodes. Ultimately, both Young and Ropp negotiated cooperation agreements and testified for the state.

         With respect to the Johnson episode, the accomplices testified that Ropp first formed the idea of kidnapping Johnson, an employee at a chain of jewelry stores. Their [288 Or.App. 811] plan was to kidnap Johnson and force him to open the safes at multiple store locations.

         They testified that the three men followed Johnson on several occasions to learn his habits. They then broke into vehicles at an animal shelter in Washington County, hoping to find ketamine-an injectable sedative that could be used to facilitate the kidnapping-and stole syringes, zip ties, uniforms, and other equipment. They removed the middle row of seats from an Astro van and affixed the zip ties where they could be used to secure Johnson. Then, on April 2, 2014, they parked in the parking garage where Johnson kept his vehicle, and waited for him.

         According to the accomplice testimony, Ropp rode the elevator with Johnson but, when a family with small children got on the elevator, he decided to abort the kidnapping attempt. However, by then, Young and defendant had already detonated several smoke bombs on the floor where Johnson kept his vehicle. When the elevator reached that floor, Johnson saw the smoke and ran off.

         With respect to the T-Mobile episode, Ropp and Young testified that defendant had previously worked at the T-Mobile store and knew the closing procedures. They planned to enter the store at closing with weapons and take money from the safe. To that end, they had made thermite, a substance that, through chemical reaction, creates very high temperatures over a small surface area.

         They testified that on the evening of April 15, 2014, they drove to the T-Mobile store in a Suburban SUV. Ropp and Young waited outside the store while defendant stayed in the vehicle as a lookout. All three were armed, and in contact via walkie-talkie. However, as the store employees began to leave a bicyclist rode up to an adjacent store. Not wanting witnesses, the three abandoned their plans and drove away.

         At trial, defendant moved for a judgment of acquittal on Counts 21 through 26-the Johnson and T-Mobile episodes-arguing that the accomplice testimony was insufficiently corroborated by extrinsic evidence connecting the [288 Or.App. 812] defendant to the alleged crime.[2] The trial court denied the motion, and ultimately convicted defendant on those counts following a bench trial. On ...


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.