ILNews

Officer’s testimony about victim’s statement admissible, COA rules

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A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it allowed an Indianapolis police officer to testify as to a victim’s out-of-court statements made to the officer shortly after an incident where she was beaten up.

Several passers-by saw Gabriel McQuay and R.S. yelling next to their car which was parked by a curb. McQuay pushed and punched R.S., according to the court record, and she screamed he was trying to kill her. McQuay ran off before Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Travis Williams arrived. He noted that R.S. was visibly upset. She identified herself and told Williams that McQuay attacked her.

McQuay was found guilty of Class D felony criminal confinement and Class A misdemeanor battery.

In Gabriel McQuay v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1311-CR-954, McQuay argued the trial court should not have admitted into evidence Williams’ testimony regarding R.S.’s out-of-court identification of herself and McQuay to the officer.
 
The state’s evidence demonstrates that R.S.’s statements identifying herself and McQuay to Officer Williams at the scene were excited utterances and, therefore, admissible statements, Judge Edward Najam wrote.  And R.S.’s identification of herself and McQuay relates to McQuay’s attack on her. The Court of Appeals could not say that the trial court abused its discretion when it concluded that R.S.’s statements to Officer Williams were excited utterances and therefore admissible pursuant to Indiana Evidence Rule 803(2).

Williams’ testimony also did not deny McQuay his Sixth Amendment right to confront R.S.

“Under an objective analysis, the circumstances of the encounter as well as the statements and actions of R.S. and Officer Williams indicate that the primary purpose of the interrogation was to enable police assistance to meet an ongoing emergency. As such, R.S.’s identification of herself and McQuay were not testimonial statements. The Confrontation Clause did not bar their admission at McQuay’s trial,” Najam wrote.
 

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  1. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  4. Different rules for different folks....

  5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.

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