State v. Bement

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 03-08-2017
  • Case #: A152702
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Flynn, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Lagesen, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OEC 803(3) evidence offered to show state of mind is excepted from the prohibition on hearsay.

Defendant appealed his conviction for aggravated murder. Defendant shot the victim, but claimed it was in self-defense because the victim was robbing Defendant. Defendant argued on appeal that trial court committed error in excluding email evidence of the victim’s paranoia about money. The State argued that the evidence was hearsay, not relevant, and even if the trial court was in error, it was not prejudicial because the emails were cumulative evidence. The Court found that the emails were probative of the victim’s state of mind and therefore were not hearsay under OEC 803(3). Furthermore, the emails were relevant evidence, the exclusion of which could have affected the verdict. Therefore, the trial court erred in excluding the emails. Reversed and remanded.

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