Court rules, Teeth are not dangerous


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PORTLAND, OR -- March 24 (UPI) -- Finding that teeth are not a dangerous weapon, The Oregon Court of Appeals Wednesday overturned a first-degree assault conviction.

The case grew out of a 2008 fight, The Oregonian Fellow reported. The two Marion County men involved in the incident were "both incredibly drunk," said Mark Obert, attorney for 30-year-old Scott Russell Kuperus II, who bit off a chunk of his neighbor's ear.

Convicted of first-degree assault and second-degree assault, Kuperus was sentenced to 90 months in prison.

One requirement for a first-degree assault charge is use of a dangerous weapon, defined by state law as any weapon that, "under the circumstances in which it is used, is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury."

Obert successfully argued, "If teeth are not a weapon, then the first-degree assault charge does not apply." However, because the victim sustained a "serious and protracted disfigurement," the court upheld the second-degree-assault conviction. Kuperus will receive a new sentence, 70 months in prison.

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