Can You Commit Burglary Without Intent to Commit a Crime Before-Hand?
By Jonathan Blecher on January 28, 2020
Defendant and the victim had two children together. Defendant and the victim were formerly in a relationship, but they broke up before the victim moved into the house where the unlawful entry at the center of this case took place. Although the victim previously had allowed defendant to visit their children at her house, defendant had never lived there, and the victim had made it clear to defendant that he was no longer welcome. On the day in question, defendant came to the house and told the victim that he wanted to shower and talk. She refused to let him inside and made sure to lock all the doors and windows before she left for work, fearing that defendant would try to come in while she was away. After the victim left, defendant broke into the house and destroyed a number of the victim’s possessions, including new television and several lamps. He intentionally cut his arm with a knife, bleeding on various pieces of her living room furniture. Defendant sent the victim text messages with pictures of his bleeding arm as well as messages blaming her for problems in his life. Based on those pictures, the victim realized defendant was in her house. The police were called and arrested defendant. Defendant was eventually charged with, among other things, first-degree burglary constituting domestic violence and second-degree criminal mischief. The question before the Oregon Supreme Court was whether a person commits the crime of first-degree burglary when the person enters a dwelling unlawfully without the intent to commit an additional crime and then develops that intent while unlawfully present in the dwelling. The Supreme Court held that forming the intent to commit an additional crime while unlawfully present after an initial unlawful entry constitutes the first-degree burglary under ORS 164.225. Oregon v. Henderson. December 27, 2019
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