State v. Underwood

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 10-15-2014
  • Case #: A152163
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Devore, J.; and Garrett, J., concurring.
  • Full Text Opinion

For hearsay to qualify as an excited utterance, three requirements must be satisfied: (1) a startling event or condition must have occurred; (2) the statement must have been made while the declarant was under the stress of excitement caused by the event or condition; and (3) the statement must relate to the startling event or condition.

Defendant appealed his conviction for fourth-degree felony assault constituting domestic violence, coercion, strangulation, and menacing constituting domestic violence. Defendant and the victim, who was pregnant at the time, were in an intimate relationship and living together. The Defendant was extremely controlling over the victim. After an ultrasound appointment, the Defendant became angry, pushed the victim against a wall and squeezed her head. Defendant then threatened to kill the victim and also covered her mouth and nose so that she couldn't breathe. Victim was able to escape with her aunt. At trial, the State sought to admit, under the excited utterance hearsay exception, testimony from the victim's aunt recounting statements made by the victim 5 days after the incident about the domestic violence and threats to her life. The trial court allowed the testimony. Defendant appealed. The Court only considered the Defendants argument that the trial court erred in allowing the aunt's testimony. The Court held that the evidence presented was sufficient to meet all the requirements of the excited utterance exception and legally supported the trial court decision. The trial court did not err in admitting the victims statements under the excited utterance exception. Affirmed.

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