The charges against the father arose from an argument between the father and the mother outside their home. A deputy with the sheriff’s department testified he arrived at the scene within five to seven minutes after he was dispatched.
He first spoke to wife. She appeared upset, agitated, and nervous upon the deputy’s arrival. Father objected to allowing the deputy to testify as to what wife told the deputy. The trial court overruled the objection. It said that there was an adequate foundation for allowing the wife’s statements to the deputy. Her statements were admitted under the excited utterance exception to hearsay.
The defendant also testified. He denied putting the child in the street. He testified that he had an argument with wife. But, he said that he could not recall what it was about. He said that he did not run away with the child. According to father, he was taking the child for a walk in his stroller.
There are rules for the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule to apply. There must be an occurrence sufficiently startling to produce a spontaneous and unreflecting statement. There must be an absence of time for the declarant to fabricate the statement. The statement must relate to the circumstances of the occurrence. Courts look at the totality of the circumstances to determine whether a statement is admissible under the excited utterance exception.
Our supreme court has explained that the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule was based on human experience. That is, where people are under physical or mental shock, they experience a stress of nervous excitement. This produces a statement that expresses the real belief of the speaker as to the facts just observed.
People v. Connolly, 406 Ill.App.3d 1022
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