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Oregon Supreme Court - November 8, 2018

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by: Rankin Johnson IV • November 12, 2018 • no comments

EVIDENCE — State-of-mind hearsay exception

Trial court erred in excluding e-mails about victim’s financial difficulties, providing a motive to rob defendant. Trial court reversed, Court of Appeals affirmed, remanded for new trial.

Defendant was accused of robbing the victim and then killing him. Defendant argued that the victim had robbed defendant and defendant killed him in self-defense. Defendant sought to offer evidence of e-mails the victim had sent about his financial difficulties. The trial court excluded some of the e-mails as hearsay. Because the e-mails tended to prove the victim’s state of mind, they were admissible as nonhearsay notwithstanding that they also referred to historical facts.

State v. Bement 363 Or 760 (November 8, 2018) (Nelson) (Washington County, Knapp)