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. Bentley

Court of Appeals of Oregon

December 18, 2019

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
ZAMERE ASONTE BENTLEY, aka Zimar Travon Bentley, aka Zimear Bentley-Williams, Defendant-Appellant.

          Submitted December 21, 2017

          Multnomah County Circuit Court 15CR17483; Gregory F. Silver, Judge.

          Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, and Neil F. Byl, Deputy Public Defender, Office of Public Defense Services, filed the brief for appellant.

          Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, and Peenesh H. Shah, Assistant Attorney General, filed the brief for respondent.

          Before Ortega, Presiding Judge, and Powers, Judge, and Mooney, Judge.

         [301 Or.App. 348] Case Summary: Defendant appeals from a judgment of conviction for second-degree robbery resulting from an incident in which he and an accomplice sought to steal marijuana by force and his accomplice shot the victim in the leg in the course of the robbery. Defendant argues that the trial court erred (1) in denying his motion for judgment of acquittal because he did not intend the degree of force used by his accomplice, (2) in ruling that he did not qualify for a lesser sentence, and (3) in ruling that the mandatory-minimum sentence for that crime was not unconstitutional, as applied to him. Held: (1) Defendant was not entitled to acquittal given that he expressed an intention before the robbery to use sufficient force to support a second-degree robbery conviction; (2) defendant did not qualify for a lesser sentence because, even though defendant did not personally infect the physical injury on the victim, that injury happened in the course of the crime of which defendant was convicted; and (3) defendant's sentence was not unconstitutionally disproportionate.

         Affirmed.

         [301 Or.App. 349] ORTEGA, P. J.

         Defendant appeals from a judgment of conviction for second-degree robbery resulting from an incident in which he and an accomplice sought to steal marijuana by force and his accomplice shot the victim in the leg in the course of the robbery. On appeal, defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion for judgment of acquittal because he did not intend the degree of force used by his accomplice. He further argues that the court erred in ruling that he did not qualify for a lesser sentence under ORS 137.712 because the significant personal injury suffered by the victim was not a result of the crime of which he was convicted. Finally, he asserts that the mandatory-minimum sentence for that crime is unconstitutional, as applied to him, under Article I, section 16, of the Oregon Constitution. We conclude that defendant was not entitled to acquittal given that he expressed an intention before the robbery to use sufficient force to support a second-degree robbery conviction. We further conclude that defendant did not qualify for a lesser sentence because, even though defendant did not personally inflict the physical injury on the victim, that injury happened in the course of the crime of which defendant was convicted. Finally, we conclude that his sentence was not unconstitutionally disproportionate. Accordingly, the trial court did not err, and we affirm.

         For purposes of reviewing the trial court's denial of the motion for judgment of acquittal, "we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the state." State v. Nickles, 299 Or.App. 561, 562, 451 P.3d 624 (2019). With that view in mind, the relevant facts are as follows.

         Heckler, the victim, was at a laundromat when defendant, who Heckler did not know, approached and asked if Heckler had marijuana to sell. Heckler said that he had "an eighth" that he wanted to get rid of and agreed to sell the marijuana to defendant for $25. They exchanged phone numbers, and defendant contacted Heckler later that night to send him an address. Defendant testified that, when he did so, he intended to steal the marijuana from Heckler. On his way to the meeting place, defendant ran into a man he knew, J. C. After defendant told J. C. that he was on his way [301 Or.App. 350] to steal marijuana from Heckler, J. C. asked to come along. Defendant agreed and told J.C. what he planned to do when Heckler took out the marijuana: "[E]ither I snatch it or he gives it to me, puts it in my hand to let me smell it and I run off." J. C. indicated his agreement with that plan.

         Heckler arrived at the address given to him by defendant and waited outside of his car. Defendant and J. C. then arrived, and they both approached the passenger's side of Heckler's car. Heckler told them that "[o]nly the person with the money can get in the car." Defendant stepped back, and both J. C. and defendant indicated that J. C. was the one with the money. Heckler then got in his car and, as he unlocked the passenger-side door, he could hear defendant and J. C. talking to each other, but it was muffled, and one of them dropped something that sounded hard when it hit the ground. J. C. bent over and picked up what was dropped, then got in the passenger's side of Heckler's car.

         As soon as J. C. got in the car, he pulled out a gun and pointed it at Heckler's chest and instructed Heckler to give him the marijuana. Heckler said, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hey stop," but J. C. pointed the gun at Heckler's leg and shot him. Heckler saw defendant at the driver-side door of his car when he was shot. J. C. tried to grab Heckler's car keys, but Heckler fought him off. J. C. then got out of the car, and Heckler was able to drive away and get medical help.

         The state charged defendant with one count of second-degree assault, two counts of first-degree robbery, and two counts of second-degree robbery. Defendant waived his right to a jury, and the charges were tried to the court. At the close of the state's case, defendant brought a motion for judgment of acquittal on all the counts, which the court denied. Defendant also argued in closing that the state did not present sufficient evidence to convict him of any of the charges under either a principal liability theory or an accomplice liability theory.

         The trial court, in making its verdict, first addressed the second-degree assault and first-degree robbery counts. For those counts, the state's theory depended on defendant knowing that J. C. had a gun. The trial court found that it [301 Or.App. 351] could not make that ...


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.