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. Paul Ogden doing a fine job of remembering his peer Gary Welsh with the post below and a call for an Indy gettogether to celebrate Gary .... http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2016/05/indiana-loses-citizen-journalist-giant.html Castaways of Indiana, unite!

  2. It's unfortunate that someone has attempted to hijack the comments to promote his own business. This is not an article discussing the means of preserving the record; no matter how it's accomplished, ethics and impartiality are paramount concerns. When a party to litigation contracts directly with a reporting firm, it creates, at the very least, the appearance of a conflict of interest. Court reporters, attorneys and judges are officers of the court and must abide by court rules as well as state and federal laws. Parties to litigation have no such ethical responsibilities. Would we accept insurance companies contracting with judges? This practice effectively shifts costs to the party who can least afford it while reducing costs for the party with the most resources. The success of our justice system depends on equal access for all, not just for those who have the deepest pockets.

  3. As a licensed court reporter in California, I have to say that I'm sure that at some point we will be replaced by speech recognition. However, from what I've seen of it so far, it's a lot farther away than three years. It doesn't sound like Mr. Hubbard has ever sat in a courtroom or a deposition room where testimony is being given. Not all procedures are the same, and often they become quite heated with the ends of question and beginning of answers overlapping. The human mind can discern the words to a certain extent in those cases, but I doubt very much that a computer can yet. There is also the issue of very heavy accents and mumbling. People speak very fast nowadays, and in order to do that, they generally slur everything together, they drop or swallow words like "the" and "and." Voice recognition might be able to produce some form of a transcript, but I'd be very surprised if it produces an accurate or verbatim transcript, as is required in the legal world.

  4. Really enjoyed the profile. Congratulations to Craig on living the dream, and kudos to the pros who got involved to help him realize the vision.

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