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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Tyler Police Officer Kevin Mobley arrived at a disturbance call to find Kenneth Lamar Key and Rachel Bailey sitting on the ground arguing. Bailey said Key had restrained her all day and had grabbed her, pulling her to the ground, when she’d finally run from the house. Bailey had bruises consisted with being grabbed by the arm, and she said she feared Key. Mobley arrested Key for assaulting Bailey. Bailey did not testify at Key’s trial. Instead, Mobley was allowed to testify as to what Bailey told him when he arrived on the scene. Key was convicted. On appeal he argues that, by allowing Mobley to testify, Key was denied his constitutional right to confront witnesses, even though the testimony may have been admissible as an exception to hearsay. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court examines the question in light of Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), in which the nation’s high court specified that “testimonial” hearsay is inadmissible under the Confrontation Clause, unless the declarant is unavailable and the defendant had a prior opportunity to cross-examine the declarant. Though the Crawford court did not define “testimony,” it gave three examples of testimonial statements: 1. ex parte in-court testimony, 2. extra-judicial statements contained in formalized testimonial materials, and 3. statements made under circumstances that would lead an objective witness to reasonably believe that the statement would be available for use at a later trial. The court adds that statements taken during police interrogations are also testimonial. The court then endeavors to determine if Bailey’s statements to Mobley were testimonial. The relevant categories are whether Bailey believed her statement would be available for later use at trial or whether her interaction with Mobley was a police interrogation. The court notes that most courts around the country applying Crawford have held that a police-victim interaction at the scene of a crime is not an interrogation. The court agrees, noting that the unstructured interaction between Mobley and Bailey bears no resemblance to a formal or informal police interrogation. The court then holds that Bailey’s statements were akin to excited utterances, and she could not have reasonably anticipated that what she said would used in court. “Such a declaration from one who has recently endured physical abuse, and with no time for reflection or deliberation, is likely to be truthful. It is consistent with the definition of an excited utterance to conclude that it is not a statement that has been made in contemplation of its use in a future trial.” The court thus concludes that Bailey’s statements were nontestimonial, and otherwise fell within the exceptions to hearsay. Consequently, Key’s right to confrontation was not violated. The court adds that the analysis is no different under the state constitutional right of confrontation. OPINION:Devastso, J.; Worthen, C.J., Griffith, and DeVasto, JJ.

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