Husband was convicted of two counts. Domestic battery and endangering the life or health of a child. The trial court sentenced him to 364 days’ imprisonment. He appealed. He argued that he should not have been convicted. He argued that the court allowed hearsay from his wife.
Wife had made statements to a police officer on the scene. This took place within few minutes after husband left. Husband had taken the child with him. Husband’s attorney objected to the police officer being able to say what wife had told him.
The trial court allowed the officer to testify. It was not hearsay from the wife. It was an exception to the hearsay rule. The wife had made an excited utterance to the officer. The officer was addressing an ongoing emergency at the time.
Wife was still at the scene in a nervous, upset, and agitated condition. This was directly related to the event. Her child was gone. Husband had taken the child.
The excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule is based on human experience. Imagine a person under physical or mental shock. They experience a stress of nervous excitement. They might say something that expresses their real belief about what they are seeing. You could say that the speaker did not have time to make anything up so soon after seeing the event. Was the wife still affected by the excitement of the event?
The Appellate Court agreed with the trial court. Husband’s convictions were not overturned.
People v. Connolly, No. 3-08-1027.
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