United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
547 F.2d 720 (2d Cir. 1976)
Harvey (defendant) was charged with a bank robbery. The only witness able to positively identify Harvey at trial was Priscilla Martin. Martin had known Harvey for 19 years and had lived with him at one point. On cross-examination, Harvey inquired about whether Martin had ever had any trouble with him, and specifically whether she had ever accused him of fathering her child and then not supporting the child. Finally, Harvey asked Martin whether she ever told Harvey’s mother that she would “take revenge” on Harvey for not supporting the child. She answered no to all of these questions. Harvey then sought to introduce the testimony of his mother, who planned to testify that Martin had in fact accused Harvey of fathering her child and then not supporting the child. The trial judge excluded this testimony, finding that it was collateral and inadmissible. The jury convicted Harvey. He appealed on the grounds that his mother’s testimony should have been admitted to show Martin’s bias.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kelleher, J.)
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