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State v. Espiritu

Hawaii Supreme Court
176 P.3d 885 (2008)


Christopher K. Espiritu (defendant) was convicted for attempted murder after he shot a woman he once had a relationship with. As part of the investigation into the incident, the woman showed police officers four text messages that Espiritu had sent her. Two years later, during Espiritu’s trial, the woman testified that she no longer had the phone with the messages and that she had discontinued the cell service for that phone. The woman then testified to the content of the text messages. Espiritu objected, arguing that the best-evidence rule required either the admission of the phone itself or a printout of the messages. The government claimed that no printout was possible. The trial court admitted the woman’s testimony about the texts. Espiritu appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in admitting the testimony about the texts under the best-evidence rule.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Acoba, J.)

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