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State v. Galvan

297 N.W.2d 344 (1980)

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State v. Galvan

Iowa Supreme Court

297 N.W.2d 344 (1980)

Facts

Albert Galvan (defendant) was charged with murdering William Turk, who died from multiple skull fractures inflicted with a blunt instrument. Turk had also been stabbed multiple times and his hands and feet bound with electrical cord. Galvan’s former wife, Jenny Perez, testified that on the night Turk died, Galvan left their house for about 45 minutes with their two-year-old daughter, saying he was going to pick up Phillip and Mary Cuevas at Galvan’s other house. Perez tried to call Galvan at his other house without success while he was gone. When Galvan returned with the Cuevases, the Cuevases went straight into the bathroom. Galvan asked Perez if she had a pair of pants for Mary to wear. Perez gave Mary some pants, and the Cuevases filled a paper bag with clothing, took it outside, and soaked it with lighter fluid. Afterward Perez noticed blood spots in the bathroom that had not been there before. Later that night the Cuevases left driving Turk’s car. Perez testified that two days later, her two-year-old daughter bound her hands with a belt from Perez’s robe and made gestures as if she were beating her own chest. Defense counsel objected, but the judge allowed Perez’s testimony. Perez continued that about five months later, on the day before Perez testified, the same daughter started crying in reaction to a cartoon showing a tied-up mouse. Galvan was convicted and appealed, arguing Perez’s testimony about their daughter was prejudicial hearsay.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Harris, J.)

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