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State v. Long
Maine Supreme Judicial Court
656 A.2d 1228 (1995)
Brett Bodman became upset with David LaFlamme because he thought LaFlamme was working with law-enforcement officers to testify against Bodman. Shortly after, LaFlamme’s trailer house was intentionally burned down. LaFlamme did not see who started the fire. Based on statements he made to law enforcement and circumstantial physical evidence, Justin Long (defendant) was charged with burning down LaFlamme’s house. However, LaFlamme claimed that he spoke to Bodman after the fire and that Bodman admitted to having started the fire. At trial, Long attempted to have LaFlamme testify that LaFlamme knew Bodman had burned down his house. The trial court excluded the testimony, finding that LaFlamme did not have personal knowledge of who had actually set his house on fire. The trial court found that, at most, LaFlamme had personal knowledge of an out-of-court statement by Bodman, which was inadmissible hearsay. Long was convicted of arson and appealed. On appeal, Long argued that LaFlamme should have been allowed to testify about who started the fire.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Clifford, J.)
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