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In re F. R.-S.

Court of Appeals of Oregon

November 7, 2018

In the Matter of F. R.-S., a Youth.
v.
F. R.-S., Appellant. STATE OF OREGON, Respondent,

          Argued and submitted October 26, 2017

          Hood River County Circuit Court 15JU07549; John A. Olson, Judge.

          Adrian T. Smith argued the cause and fled the brief for appellant.

          Sharia Mayfeld, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. On the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, and Nathan Riemersma, Assistant Attorney General.

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

         Adjudication for possession of methamphetamine reversed; remanded for further proceedings; otherwise affirmed.

         Case Summary:

Youth appeals a juvenile court's judgment finding him within the jurisdiction of the court under ORS 419C.005 for committing an act that, if committed by an adult, would constitute possession of methamphetamine, ORS 475.894. Youth argues that the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that white residue found in a pipe that youth possessed was methamphetamine.
Held: The trial court erred in finding youth within the jurisdiction of the court for possession of methamphetamine because the state did not present sufficient evidence from which a reasonable trier of fact could find that the substance in the pipe was methamphetamine.

         Adjudication for possession of methamphetamine reversed; remanded for further proceedings; otherwise affirmed.

         [294 Or.App. 657] EGAN, C. J.

         Youth appeals the juvenile court's judgment finding him within the jurisdiction of the court under ORS 419C.005 for committing an act that, if committed by an adult, would constitute possession of methamphetamine.[1]ORS 475.894.[2] Youth contends that the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that white residue found in a pipe he possessed was methamphetamine. For the reasons set out below, we agree with youth that the state failed to present sufficient evidence from which a reasonable trier of fact could find that the substance was methamphetamine. Therefore, we reverse and remand.

         We are bound by the juvenile court's findings of fact so long as the record contains evidence supporting them, and we review the court's legal conclusions for errors of law. State v. J. N. S., 258 Or.App. 310, 312, 308 P.3d 1112 (2013). In reviewing questions of the sufficiency of evidence, we must determine "whether a rational trier of fact, drawing reasonable inferences, could have found that the state proved the elements of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt." Id. at 320. In doing so, we view the relevant facts in the light most favorable to the state. Id.

         Youth was driving a vehicle carrying others when The Dalles Police Officer Lick stopped him for a traffic violation. Lick noticed that youth seemed "shaky," that his eyes were watery and bloodshot, and that his eyelids were droopy. Lick also noticed a strong odor of marijuana emanating from inside the vehicle. When Lick asked youth and his passengers about the marijuana, they all initially denied having any. However, while Lick was providing dispatch with youth's information, a second police officer, Fedunok, arrived. Youth told Fedunok that he wanted to "tell the truth" to Lick and that he had marijuana. He ...


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