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Beltran v. Warden
United States District Court for the District of Northern California
2015 WL 7874326 (2015)
Tare Nicholas Beltran (defendant) was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Claire Joyce Tempongko. During Beltran’s trial, evidence was introduced concerning his long history of domestic violence. In 2014 Beltran filed a habeas corpus petition in federal district court. Beltran claimed that his rights under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution had been violated. Beltran argued that the trial court improperly admitted into evidence statements that Tempongko had made to police, because Beltran did not have an opportunity to confront Tempongko about the statements. Specifically, Beltran argued that a statement Tempongko had made to Officer Lack after arriving on the scene immediately following a domestic-violence dispute was improperly admitted. Beltran also argued that a statement Tempongko made to Officer Dharmani, describing a different assault, was also improperly admitted into evidence. At the time Tempongko made the statement to Officer Lack, Beltran was still in the apartment and had locked Tempongko in her bedroom so that she could not leave the residence. At the time Tempongko made the statement to Officer Dharmani, Beltran had left the scene and did not pose an ongoing threat to Tempongko. The district court considered the petition.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Tigar, J.)
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