- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Evidence
- Date Filed: 09-15-2021
- Case #: A171331
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, C.J. for the Court; DeVore, P.J.; & De Hoog, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant was convicted of DUII, unlawful possession of methamphetamine, and recklessly endangering another person, and he appealed. Defendant assigned error to, as relevant here, the trial court’s decision to exclude testimony about “an officer’s [split] reputation for truthfulness or untruthfulness.” On appeal, Defendant argued that evidence of an officer’s “split reputation” is admissible under OEC 608. In response, the State conceded there was error at the trial court, but that the it constituted harmless error. Under OEC 608, “split reputation evidence is admissible” because it “permits reputation evidence for ‘truthfulness or untruthfulness.’” The Court found that “[e]ach part of [a witness’] testimony about a split reputation – that ‘some’ find [the officer] to be truthful and others find him untruthful – would be separately admissible[.]” The fact that one witness “testif[ies] to both does not make it any less [admissible.]” The Court found that the officer-in-question’s testimony was irrelevant to the conviction on Count 2, but that the excluded testimony was different from the testimony of others regarding the officer’s credibility and that the officer’s credibility “was important to the jury’s consideration of Counts 1 and 3.” Convictions on Count 1 and Count 3 reversed and remanded; remanded for resentencing; otherwise affirmed.