EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon Court of Appeals denied an appeal from a Eugene protester last week, upholding his conviction for misdemeanor disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Judge Jack Billings sentenced Ian Van Ornum, then 19, to 18 months probation, 80 hours community service and $500 in attorney fees in 2009 after a highly publicized trial that sparked a community discussion about police use of Tasers.
Van Ornum appealed, arguing the jury should have been instructed to consider whether he resisted arrest or was engaged in self-defense against police officers employing excessive force.
The appeal court upheld the conviction on procedural grounds.
"In short, because neither claim of instructional error was preserved for our review, as required ... the judgment of the trial court is affirmed," the majority wrote.
But a dissenting judge wrote "applying the law as it currently exists ... it is beyond dispute that defendant did not receive a fair trial."
Van Ornum could still appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court.
The charges stemmed from a May 30, 2008, pesticide rally in Ken Kesey Square in downtown Eugene.
Police said Van Ornum was blocking traffic dressed in an exterminator suit spraying flowers from a pesticide applicator.
Organizers said the device contained water, but police said Van Ornum told them it was "poison" when they arrived on scene - and asked if they wanted some sprayed in their faces.
When an officer went to arrest Van Ornum for disorderly conduct, officers said the teen resisted arrested. Officers forced him to the ground and shocked him twice with a Taser while taking him into custody.
The tactics used to take Van Ornum into custody prompted a public protest and were reviewed by the police auditor's office and the police department. No officers were found to have done anything wrong in investigations by the police auditor and the police department itself.
Van Ornum was taking part in a protest held by a groupd called Crazy People for Wild Places, which invited participants to wear costumes.