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State v. McNeely

Supreme Court of Oregon
8 P.3d 212 (2000)


Facts

Michael McNeely (defendant) was charged with aggravated murder. At trial, the state sought to introduce testimony from Thompson, a jail inmate who testified to statements that McNeely allegedly made to him while they were both incarcerated. Specifically, Thompson testified that McNeely said he choked and killed the victim. McNeely moved to exclude the testimony based on the fact that Thompson could not identify McNeely in court as the inmate Thompson had spoken to in jail. Evidence presented at trial showed that McNeely and Thompson had met in jail several years prior and that McNeely had since gained 25 pounds and shaved off his moustache. The trial court held that a reasonable jury could find that McNeely was the person Thompson had spoken to in jail, even if Thompson could not identify McNeely in court. McNeely was convicted of aggravated murder. McNeely appealed the admission of Thompson’s testimony.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Van Hoomissen, J.)

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