State v. Mohamed

375 P.3d 1068 (2016)

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State v. Mohamed

Washington Supreme Court
375 P.3d 1068 (2016)

Facts

Sayiden Mohamed (defendant) was charged with assault. The prosecution (plaintiff) filed a motion in limine to permit introduction of Mohamed’s prior convictions of theft for impeachment purposes in case Mohamed chose to testify in his own defense. Mohamed agreed to the motion. Ultimately, Mohamed chose not to testify at trial. Mohamed called Dr. Robert Julien to testify that Mohamed had been in a state of alcohol-induced blackout that prevented Mohamed from forming the required intent for assault. Julien’s opinion was based in part on a conversation with Mohamed about the night in question. Julien testified that during that conversation, Mohamed had told Julien how many drinks he had consumed on the night in question. Mohamed declined the court’s offer of a jury instruction limiting the jury’s consideration of that statement to impeachment purposes. On cross-examination, the prosecution sought to impeach Mohamed’s out-of-court statement to Julien based on Mohamed’s prior convictions involving dishonesty. The trial court permitted this impeachment and convicted Mohamed. Mohamed appealed, arguing that the statements to Julien were offered not for the truth of the matter asserted but for forming the basis of Julien’s expert opinion. Accordingly, Mohamed argued that the statements could not be used to impeach him with the prior convictions. The court of appeals reversed. The prosecution appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Yu, J.)

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