Evans v. State
Supreme Court of Nevada
28 P.3d 498 (2001)
The state of Nevada (plaintiff) successfully prosecuted Vernell Ray Evans (defendant) for multiple murders. One of the eyewitnesses was Adriana, whose mother was also present when the murders took place. Adriana was four years old when she witnessed the crime and six years old when she testified. The trial judge found Adriana understood the difference between truth and falsehood and admitted her testimony. Throughout the pre-trial proceedings, direct examination, and cross examination, Adriana's version of the events largely remained coherent and consistent. Adriana admitted to not knowing or remembering certain key details. Adriana's testimony was also consistent with evidence at the crime scene. On appeal of his conviction to the Supreme Court of Nevada, Evans argued Adriana's youth and faulty memory of key details made her an incompetent witness. Evans also argued Adriana's mother had a motive and the power to exert improper influence on Ariana's testimony.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Becker, J.)
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