State v. Barnes

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 03-19-2014
  • Case #: A149393
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Before Ortega, P.J. for the court, Sercombe, J., and Hadlock, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Erroneously admitted testimony admissible if there is "little likelihood" it affected the verdict.

Defendant appealed two Counts (1 and 3) of contempt for violating a restraining order, which prohibited defendant from contacting his wife or entering her residence. On Appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court erred by allowing a police officer to recount statements made by the victim’s wife, over defendant’s hearsay objection. The hearsay statements at issue involved defendant’s wife telling a police officer that defendant requested items be placed in a bush, so that defendant could grab them as he drove by. Defendant claimed that he requested insulin to be left at his pastor’s house, so that he would not violate his restraining order. There was limited evidence that defendant actually entered within 150 feet of the residence. Count 1 related to defendant contacting his wife by phone and the court found that given the “quantity and quality of properly admitted evidence,” the error related to Count 1 did not likely affect the verdict. Count 3 related to the question of whether the defendant actually entered or remained within 150 feet of his wife’s residence. The Court found that the hearsay evidence related to a “central factual issue and directly undermined the defense theory” on Count 3 and thus, the court could not conclude that there was “little likelihood” the admitted testimony affected the verdict. Conviction on Count 3 reversed and remanded; remanded for resentencing; otherwise affirmed.

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