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State v. Chen

208 N.J. 307 (2011)

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State v. Chen

New Jersey Supreme Court

208 N.J. 307 (2011)

Facts

Helen Kim was married to Johann Christian Kim (JC). While Helen was home alone, a woman stabbed Helen with a knife. Later, JC told Helen that the assailant might have been his ex-girlfriend, Cecilia Chen (defendant). Further, JC showed Helen multiple pictures of Chen. Afterward, the police presented a photo array to Helen, and Helen identified Chen as the assailant. The state (plaintiff) prosecuted Chen for attempted murder. At the trial court, Chen requested a preliminary hearing to challenge the admissibility of Helen’s identification. Chen contended that JC’s conduct was highly suggestive and may have caused Helen to make a mistaken identification. The trial judge denied Chen’s request for a hearing. Subsequently, the jury convicted Chen. Chen appealed. The appellate court held that Chen was entitled to a hearing on the admissibility of Helen’s identification. The state appealed to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rabner, C.J.)

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