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Name: People v. Mendoza
Case #: S067678
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 11/29/2007

An out-of-court statement offered to explain defendant’s state of mind, conduct, or motive, as opposed to being offered for the truth of the matter, is not inadmissable hearsay, and since it is not hearsay, does not implicate the confrontation clause of the Sixth Amendment. (Crawford v. Washington (2004) 541 U.S. 36.) Sheriff’s officers responded to a domestic abuse 9-1-1 call and arrested appellant. Following the arrest, appellant’s stepdaughter, Sandra, informed appellant’s wife, Rocio, that appellant had been molesting her. Rocio confronted appellant about it, took the children, and left him. Appellant was greatly disturbed by the accusation and the separation and several days later went to his wife’s new residence and shot and killed Sandra, her brother, and his wife’s niece. Rocio’s statement to appellant that Sandra had claimed he had molested her was offered at trial as evidence of motive, state of mind, etc. The Supreme Court found that it did not constitute error as it was not hearsay, did not implicate the confrontation clause, and did not violate Penal Code section 352 as it was more probative than prejudicial.