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State v. Motta

Hawaii Supreme Court
659 P.2d 745 (1983)


Facts

Shortly after Wendy Iwashita was robbed at gunpoint while working as a cashier at a coffee house, she gave a description of the robber to police who arrived on the scene. One week later, Iwashita gave a description of the robber to Joe Aragon, a police artist, who drew a composite sketch based on her description. About one month later, Iwashita identified Motta (defendant) in an array of twenty-five to thirty photographs and about a week later identified Motta as the robber at a preliminary hearing. Iwashita again identified Motta when she testified at trial. Joe Aragon also testified at trial. Motta presented an alibi defense at trial, claiming that he was at a nightclub and presented the testimony of several witnesses who described his appearance on the night of the robbery and corroborated his alibi. The jury found Motta guilty and Motta appealed. On appeal to the Hawaii Supreme Court, Motta claimed that the trial court erred in admitting the composite sketch because it was inadmissible hearsay. Motta also asserted that the sketch was inadmissible corroborating evidence because Iwashita had not been  impeached and therefore the State did not have the right to offer corroborating evidence on rebuttal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lum, C.J.)

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