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United States v. Arnold

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
486 F.3d 177 (6th Cir. 2007) (en banc)


Joseph Arnold was indicted for being a felon-in-possession-of-a-firearm. At trial, evidence was introduced regarding statements made by Tamica Gordon during a 911 call, to officers upon their arrival at the scene and to officers when Arnold arrived at the scene. In a tape recording of the 911 call, Tamica told the operator that Arnold had threatened her with a gun. During the call, Gordon was hysterical and the operator, who had difficulty understanding Gordon, repeatedly asked Gordon to calm down and stop yelling. When officers arrived on the scene, Gordon was visibly shaken. Gordon told the officers that she and Arnold were arguing when he pulled a gun on her and said he was going to kill her. Gordon said it was a black handgun, that Arnold pulled back the slide on it and she thought he was going to kill her. Gordon’s description led the officers to believe that the weapon was a black semi-automatic handgun with a round in the chamber. Shortly after the officers arrived, Gordon’s mother arrived in a car and Arnold was sitting in the passenger seat. When Gordon saw the car she started crying and pointed at the car saying “that’s him” and “he’s got a gun on him.” The officers obtained consent to search the car and found a black, semi-automatic handgun with a round in the chamber under the passenger seat. Gordon did not testify at trial, but the district court admitted the recording of the 911 call and Gordon’s statements at the scene under the excited-utterance exception in Federal Rule of Evidence (FRE) 803(2). Arnold was convicted and appealed his conviction to the United States Court of Appeals, asserting that the 911 call and Gordon’s statements at the scene were inadmissible hearsay.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Sutton, J.)

Dissent (Moore, J.)

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