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United States v. Williams

571 F.2d 344 (1978)

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United States v. Williams

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

571 F.2d 344 (1978)

Facts

Glen Williams (defendant) was charged with cashing and forging endorsements on government checks. During the investigation into Williams, Agent Lutz interviewed and recorded a statement from Williams’s friend, Gary Ball. Ball’s statement indicated that Williams was involved in a scheme with his landlord to steal checks addressed to other residents before they could pick up their mail. Ball read Lutz’s recording of Ball’s statement and signed an oath swearing that it was true. At trial, the government (plaintiff) called Ball as a witness. On direct, the prosecutor attempted to elicit testimony that the checks that Williams cashed were stolen. However, Ball claimed that he could not recall such a conversation. The prosecutor then had Ball read his recorded statement written by Agent Lutz and again asked whether Ball was able to remember the conversation. Ball again replied that he could not. At this point, the jury was excused. Ball testified to the court that he did not recall the portion of the conversation such as the one recorded by Lutz. The government argued that the recorded statement should be admitted under the past-recollection-recorded exception to hearsay. Williams argued that the exception did not apply because Ball generally recalled the conversation and thus did not have insufficient recollection to give in-court testimony. The court allowed the statement to be read to the jury under the exception. Williams was convicted and appealed, arguing the court erred in admitting the statement.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lively, J.)

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