State v. Blaylock

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 12-10-2014
  • Case #: A150228
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Tookey, J.

Evidence of prior bad acts is admissible to prove lack of mistake when a defendant claims self defense under OEC 404(3).

Defendant appealed the trial court’s admission of hearsay testimony and the “no contact order” in the judgement. Defendant was arrested in connection with his wife’s disappearance in 2010, when officers found apparent suicide note containing details of the whereabouts of the victim’s body. At trial, defendant admitted that he killed his wife, but asserted that he accidentally caused her death while defending himself. The jury found defendant guilty. Defendant appealed, and argued four assignments of error that the court improperly admitted out-of-court statements under various exceptions to the hearsay rule. The Court of Appeals held that on defendant’s second, third, and fourth assignments of error, that the trial court properly admitted the hearsay testimony under Oregon’s utterance exceptions to the hearsay rule OEC 803 (2), and not precluded as evidence of prior bad acts under OEC 404(3). The Court reasoned that under State v. Johns, evidence of prior bad acts are admissible to prove absence of mistake or accident when a defendant argues self-defense. Analyzing the excited utterance exception, the Court held that the witness testimony meets the test under State v. Carlson. The Court held that on defendant’s first assignment of error, that the error was harmless. Remanded for entry of a corrected judgment omitting the challenged "no contact" provision; otherwise affirmed.

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