Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Summary 2013 WY 146

Summary of Decision November 26, 2013

Chief Justice Kite delivered the opinion of the Court. Affirmed.


Docket Number: S-13-0006

URL: http://www.courts.state.wy.us/Opinions.aspx

Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County, the Honorable Catherine E. Wilking, Judge

Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief Appellate Counsel; Kirk A. Morgan, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel. Argument by Mr. Morgan.

Representing Appellee: Gregory A. Phillips, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Theodore R. Racines, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Christyne Martens, Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Ms. Martens.

Date of Decision: November 26, 2013

Facts: Shelley Moore was convicted after a jury trial of felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. At trial, he sought to introduce Chauncey Swain’s out-of-court statements that the cocaine belonged to him. The district court excluded the statements because they were hearsay and did not meet the requirements for the “statement against interest” exception to the hearsay rule. On appeal, Mr. Moore claims the district court erred by refusing to allow Mr. Swain’s statements to be introduced into evidence.

Issue: Whether the district court abused its discretion when it ruled that Mr. Moore could not present evidence that the other occupant in the vehicle had asserted that the cocaine in the vehicle was his, under W.R.E. 804(b)(3).

Holdings/Conclusion: The district court did not abuse its discretion when it weighed the factors and concluded Mr. Moore did not present sufficient corroborating circumstances to establish the trustworthiness of Mr. Swain’s statements under W.R.E. 804(b)(3). Mr. Swain’s statements were properly excluded as inadmissible hearsay. Affirmed.

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court.

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