State v. Henderson-Laird

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 08-03-2016
  • Case #: A155203
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Hadlock, C.J.

Erroneously admitted hearsay evidence is not prejudicial if it is cumulative of evidence that is not otherwise objected to.

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for possession of methamphetamine and theft in the first degree. Defendant argues, and the State concedes, that the trial court erred by admitting hearsay statements by a confidential informant, but the parties disagree as to whether that error was prejudicial to Defendant. A police officer was allowed to testify as to what a confidential informant told police, despite Defendant’s objections that the testimony was hearsay. In regard to the possession of methamphetamine conviction, the same evidence obtained through the hearsay testimony was also obtained through other testimony, so the error was harmless. The hearsay evidence was not harmless with respect to the theft conviction though, because the hearsay testimony suggested Defendant’s involvement with a specific stolen firearm but other evidence produced by the State went “solely to defendant’s involvement with stolen firearms generally.” Conviction for theft reversed and remanded.

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