State v. Supanchick

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 09-28-2011
  • Case #: A139011
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Sercombe, J.; & Landau, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The forfeiture exclusion to the hearsay doctrine does not require a defendant to intend that his wrongful act prevent a witness from testifying; evidence otherwise excludable as prejudicial, may be admitted on cross examination if relied upon by defendant’s expert witness; and testimony by expert witnesses must be in regards to a relevant issue.

Defendant was convicted of aggregated murder, first-degree burglary, and attempted coercion. Defendant appealed his conviction on the theories that the court erred admitting into evidence written statements from the victim, emails from the defendant to the victim, and failing to admit evidence of a defense expert witness. Defendant argued: (1) the written statements by his wife were hearsay because they did not meet the OEC 804(f) or (g) forfeiture exception, since he did not kill her to prevent her from testifying; (2) the emails prejudice outweighed their probative value under OEC 403; and (3) that his expert witness’s testimony was relevant under OEC 401. The Court of Appeals held: (1) the defendant’s wrongdoing was sufficient to meet the forfeiture exception; (2) the defense’s expert witness testimony was sufficient to allow admission of the emails under OEC 705, as facts underlying his opinion; and (3) testimony by the other defense expert did not tend to prove facts material to the defendant’s mental state and was properly excluded. Affirmed.

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