Sunday, November 17, 2013

State v. Skaggs case brief

State v. Skaggs case brief summary
601 P.2d 862 (1979)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant sought review of a decision of the Circuit Court, Clackamas County (Oregon), which by jury verdict convicted him of theft in the first degree, assault in the second degree, robbery in the third degree, and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

CASE FACTS
Late in the evening defendant and another person were accosted by a sheriff while they were apparently in the act of stealing a vehicle. The officer engaged in a scuffle with the other person over possession of the officer's service revolver. During the struggle defendant stabbed the officer twice and then grabbed him by the hair. After being struck a third time, the officer lost control of the revolver. The two assailants made their escape from the scene in the officer's patrol car, and took the gun with them. Defendant was convicted of theft, assault, robbery, and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Defendant appealed and argued that there was insufficient evidence to show intent to commit theft of the revolver.

DISCUSSION

  • The state conceded that it erred in failing to merge the convictions for assault and robbery. 
  • The court affirmed in part and reversed in part based on the state's concession. 
  • The court found that the fact that the revolver was not left behind at the scene of the incident, and that the witness testified that he saw the gun later that evening when defendant and a codefendant were trying to operate the jammed mechanism, was sufficient support for the theft conviction.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed in part defendant's convictions for theft in the first degree, and for unauthorized use of a vehicle. The court reversed the conviction for assault based on the conceded error by the state to merge the convictions for robbery and assault.

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