Conviction overturned in 2017 stolen dirt bike case
The Court of Appeals has overturned a conviction in the case of a stolen dirt bike.
In 2017, Rusty J. Redding was charged with second-degree vehicle theft for taking another person's dirt bike. At his trial, he argued he took the bike because he needed it to call for help and the state contested his justification.
The prosecutor at the time argued it was up to Redding to prove he needed the bike. The trial court instructed the jury similarly and the jury convicted Redding.
Redding, who recently filed an appeal, argued the trial court should have put the burden of proof on the state saying they needed to disprove he needed the bike. According to a Court of Appeals opinion published last week, the state agreed with Redding.
Both the state and Redding asked the court to vacate the judgement. In its opinion, the court stated they accepted the state's concession.
According to the opinion, the court said a necessity defense can be used if the defendant shows "some evidence" that:
1. the charged offense was committed to prevent a significant evil;
2. there was no adequate alternative to the charged offense;
3. the foreseeable harm from the unlawful conduct was not disproportionate to the harm avoided by breaking the law.
The court reversed Redding's conviction. The case has been remanded for a new trial.
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