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United States v. Hernandez

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
333 F.3d 1168 (2003)


Facts

Lazaro Alexander Hernandez (defendant) was convicted of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Lazaro attended his nephew’s birthday party at the home of his sister, Connie Hernandez. Connie’s boyfriend, Shane Crofts, was there as well, and Lazaro asked to smoke a cigarette in Crofts’s vehicle. The next day, Crofts’s garage-door opener was missing, and when Crofts returned to his house, his house had been burglarized and Crofts’s guns were missing. Lazaro asked his friends, Kirk and Tracy Allen, to store a gun for him for a while. Tracy told Lazaro’s sister, Renee Hernandez, that she was holding a gun for Lazaro. Renee asked Tracy for the serial number, but Tracy initially refused. Instead, Tracy called another friend, Jacqueline Grant, and asked her to write down the serial number, which she did. Lazaro then took back the gun. Renee called Tracy again for the serial number, so Tracy called Grant, who read to Tracy the serial number she had previously written down. Tracy wrote the serial number down as Grant read it to her. Tracy then called Renee, read her the serial number she had written down, and Renee also wrote the number down. Lazaro eventually gave the gun and other belongings of Crofts to Renee, who gave them back to Crofts, and Crofts notified the police. At trial, Tracy, Renee, and Grant all testified that they could not remember the serial number but that they each accurately recited and in turn accurately wrote down the serial number. Only Tracy’s recording of the serial number was admitted into evidence. Lazaro objected to its admission as hearsay, but the court overruled his objection. Following his conviction, Lazaro argued that the court improperly admitted the recording of the serial number.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ebel, J.)

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