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Name: People v. Lee
Case #: B166204
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 11/29/2004
Subsequent History: 3/16/05: rev. Granted: S130570

Tape-recorded police interviews are testimonial evidence and may not be admitted over defense objection. Police approached two witnesses to an assault and conducted taped interviews with them. One of those witnesses testified at the preliminary hearing and disavowed his statement to police. At trial, the prosecutor sought to introduce the tapes rather than calling the witnesses, because one of the witnesses would disavow the taped statement. The trial court permitted the introduction of the tapes. The Court of Appeal reversed, finding that the statements were testimonial and that the error was not harmless beyond a…

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Name: People v. Ackerman
Case #: H026899
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/18/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 2/23/05: S130086

Appellant entered a guilty plea to failing to register, and admitted two prior strikes. The court granted his Romero motion and struck one of the strike priors, sentencing appellant to seven years in state prison, the upper term for the registration offense doubled, plus one year for the prison prior. One day prior to filing the opinion on appellant's Wende brief, the United States Supreme Court decided Blakely v. Washington. Appellant filed a petition for rehearing within which he argued that his sentence violated the standards set forth in Blakely and Apprendi because the court imposed the…

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Name: Parle v. Runnels
Case #: 02-16896
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 11/01/2004
Subsequent History: 5/16/05: cert. den.

The admission into evidence of a homicide victim's diary under Evidence Code section 1370 did not violate clearly-established federal law as determined by the Supreme Court. The defendant was convicted of murdering his wife, in part based on statements the victim made in her diary. After first finding that Crawford v. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 1354 did not bar admission of the diary because the evidence was nontestimonial, the Ninth Circuit held that the district court erred in granting the petition for writ of habeas corpus, because the California appellate court's determination that the diary was reliable did not…

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Name: People v. Caudillo
Case #: H026166
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/07/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. gr. 1/12/05: S129212

During appellant's trial for shooting into a motor vehicle and assault, he challenged for cause a juror who was an attorney in the City Attorney's office, and who had defended Pitchess motions filed by defense counsel. The juror stated that he would try to be fair and impartial, but that he could not say beyond any doubt that his background would not influence how he would view the evidence. On appeal, appellant challenged the trial court's denial of his motion to excuse the juror for cause. The appellate court held that the trial court did not abuse…

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Name: People v. Kilday
Case #: A099095
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 10/22/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 1/19/05: S129567

In his appeal from his conviction for torture and spousal abuse, appellant contended that the trial court erred in admitting the victim's out-of-court statements to police officers under the statutory hearsay exception for statements describing the injuries to the declarant, under Evidence Code section 1370, subdivision (a)(1). The victim became unavailable due to her unwillingness to testify. There were three separate statements admitted: The first was made to officers who responded to a call from a witness about the injuries. The victim described her injuries to the officers shortly after they arrived. The second was…

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Name: People v. Giles
Case #: B166937
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 10/25/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 12/22/04: S129852

In his appeal from his conviction for first degree murder, appellant contended he was denied his Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses because the trial court admitted hearsay evidence of statements by the victim regarding a prior act of domestic violence which were admitted under Evidence Code section 1370. The appellate court held that it need not decide whether the statements were testimonial as defined by Crawford v. Washington, because appellant was barred from asserting a Confrontation Clause objection under the doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing. Under that doctrine, a defendant who has rendered a witness unavailable for…

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Name: People v. Winslow
Case #: B172600
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 10/25/2004
Subsequent History: Rhrg. den. 11/10/04; revw. den. 1/19/05

In appellant's trial for sexual assault on a 13-year-old victim, the trial court admitted the victim's preliminary hearing testimony, after finding that the victim was unavailable to testify due to his post-traumatic stress disorder. The victim's psychiatrist testified at the unavailability hearing that the victim, who had an IQ of 65, would be exposed to trauma at having to testify before a jury which would aggravate a psychological problem. The appellate court here upheld the admission of the testimony. Substantial evidence supported the trial court's factual findings regarding the trauma to the victim. Further, the victim…

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Name: People v. Jiles
Case #: E034087
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 09/16/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 12/22/04: S128638

A victim’s statement made shortly before her death is admissible under Crawford v. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 1354 regardless of whether the statement is testimonial. The defendant’s wife told a police officer that the defendant had stabbed her; she then lost consciousness and died about an hour later. The defendant argued that her statement was inadmissible under the Sixth Amendment because the statement was testimonial and he had had no opportunity to cross-examine her. The Court of Appeal rejected this argument, noting that Crawford had left open an exception for dying declarations and the doctrine of forfeiture…

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Name: People v. Ochoa
Case #: D042215
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 09/02/2004
Subsequent History: mod. 122 CA4th 823c; Rev. GRANTED 11/17/04: S128417

Appellant was charged with rape and several other sex offenses against the victim, Maria. When Maria testified at trial, her testimony began to conflict with her prior statements to police and her preliminary hearing testimony. The trial court advised Maria of her Fifth Amendment privileges and she declined to testify further. Maria's prior statements and preliminary hearing testimony were admitted at trial. On appeal, following appellant's conviction for the offenses, he argued that the trial court violated his right to confrontation by admitting the prior statements, and violated his right to due process by giving a…

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Name: People v. Corella
Case #: B163370
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 09/16/2004

Appellant was charged with corporal injury to a spouse. The victim, his wife, had made statements to police and medical personnel that her husband had hit her. At the preliminary hearing, she changed her testimony and said that the earlier statements had been false. When advised concerning self-incrimination, she refused to testify further, and her preliminary hearing testimony was stricken. At trial, the inculpatory statements to police were admitted as spontaneous statements under Evidence Code section 1240, but her exculpatory preliminary hearing testimony was excluded because it had been stricken. On appeal, appellant argued…

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