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Towner v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming
685 P.2d 45 (Wyo. 1984)


Facts

Charles Towner (defendant) was charged with four counts of concealing stolen goods. At the beginning of the trial, the trial court granted a motion to sequester the witnesses. Towner testified that his wife had purchased the goods in question. In addition, Towner planned to call as witnesses his father and sister (Towner’s witnesses), who planned to testify that Towner’s wife had told them that she had purchased the goods in question. However, Towner’s witnesses were seen in the courtroom and thus the trial court excluded from being called because they had violated the sequestration order. Subsequently, however, it was learned that Towner’s witnesses had been asked to enter the courtroom by an agent of the prosecution’s office. Towner brought this to the trial court’s attention, but the trial court affirmed its decision to exclude Towner’s witnesses. The trial court determined that Towner’s witnesses’ testimony was “of dubious relevance [and] also cumulative to what the defendant ha[d] already testified to, and which no one has challenged.” The trial court then convicted Towner. He appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cardine, J.)

Dissent (Rooney, C.J.)

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