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State v. Losson

Montana Supreme Court
865 P.2d 255 (1993)


Facts

Bari Lynne Losson (defendant) was convicted of homicide for killing her husband, Rick Losson. During her trial, Bari claimed self-defense. To contradict this claim, the prosecution introduced three of Rick’s out-of-court statements. First, a counselor testified that Rick had said Bari “threatened to kill him in the past.” Rick’s boss testified that Rick had said “Bari would kill him if he ever moved out.” And finally, an officer in the Naval Reserves testified that Rick inquired about returning to active-duty status because he “was afraid of his wife and thought she was going to kill him.” For all three statements, the judge gave a limiting instruction to the jury telling the jury that the statements were not offered to prove that Bari intended to kill Rick but to show Rick’s state of mind, and that the jury was not to consider the statements for any other purpose. Following her conviction, Bari appealed on the grounds that Rick’s statements were inadmissible hearsay.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Harrison, J.)

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