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State v. Wing
Montana Supreme Court
285 P.3d 469 (2012)
Robert Wing (defendant) was charged with driving under the influence. Wing’s case theory was that Michael Halverson was driving the car, which belonged to Wing’s mother, Helen. There was evidence that Halverson was intoxicated when the police arrived at the scene. At trial, Wing called Halverson as a witness, but Halverson invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Wing then called Helen to ask her about a statement allegedly made to her by Halverson. Specifically, Wing asked whether Halverson had told Helen that he was driving her car on the night in question. The trial court sustained the objection of the prosecution (plaintiff) on the ground that the statement was hearsay. The trial court did permit Helen to state that she had given her keys to Halverson earlier in the night. Wing also presented evidence that the police found the car keys on the passenger seat in the car, which is where Halverson was sitting when the police arrived at the scene. Wing was convicted, and he appealed, arguing that Halverson’s out-of-court statement to Helen should have been admitted as a statement against interest.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (McGrath, C.J.)
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