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Name: People v. Brenn
Case #: G036470
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 06/18/2007

The victim’s statements to the dispatcher qualified as an exception to the hearsay rule as a spontaneous declaration because it was made under the stress of excitement of the stabbing, while the victim’s reflective powers were in abeyance. Appellant, his girlfriend, the victim, and others lived in a group home for people with mental health and substance abuse problems. There was no live-in supervision and the residents abused controlled substances. On the night of the incident, the victim intervened when appellant got into a heated, physical argument with his girlfriend and appellant stabbed him. The victim fled next door and called 9-1-1. The victim was not available to testify at the trial because his mental condition had decompensated. Further, they were not testimonial and thus did not violate the confrontation clause because the dispatcher was eliciting information to handle an emergency rather than attempting to establish or prove the criminal act. (Davis v. Washington (2006) __ U.S.__ [165 L.Ed.2d 224,126 S.Ct. 2266]; People v. Cage (2007) 40 Cal.4th 956.)