State v. Tena

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 09-14-2016
  • Case #: A154735
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan P.J. for the Court; Flynn J.; & Lagesen, J.

Evidence of prior assaults may be introduced to show “intent or absence of mistake or accident” and “hostile motive” against the victim.

Defendant appealed his fourth degree assault conviction against his domestic partner because he claimed the trial court erred in not using the State v. John test. The State introduced evidence of two prior assaults by Defendant against different partners. The State produced this evidence to show “intent or absence of mistake or accident” under Johns, and to prove  a “hostile motive” against the victim under State v. Moen. On appeal, Defendant argued that the similarities between the prior assaults and the current assault were outweighed by their differences. Further, Defendant wanted the State to prove intent by applying the State v Johns test. Since none of Defendant's arguments called for a reversal, the Court determined that the trial court did not have to apply the test to the evidence admitted to prove Defendant’s motive. Affirmed. 

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