- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
- Date Filed: 05-05-2021
- Case #: A165754
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Kistler, S.J. for the Court; Lagesen, P.J., & DeVore, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed a conviction of menacing and assigned error to the trial court’s exclusion of evidence regarding the victim’s prior bad acts. On appeal, Defendant argued that evidence of the victim’s prior violence was needed to establish self-defense. The State argued that the error was harmless. “[A] person is justified in using physical force upon another person for self-defense or to defend a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force, and the person may use a degree of force which the person reasonably believes to be necessary for the purpose.” ORS 161.209. The Court held that the evidence excluded at trial was only useful to Defendant’s case in establishing the first prong of self-defense. However, because the evidence excluded failed to answer whether Defendant used the necessary degree of force, the Court concluded that the trial court’s exclusion of evidence was harmless. Since Defendant easily could have left the apartment after the victim threw an object at him, rather than pin the victim to the door, the Court found that there was little likelihood of establishing self-defense regardless of the evidentiary ruling. Affirmed.