District Court of Appeal of Florida
707 So. 2d 827 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1998)
On December 15, 1995, Officer Duncan of the Special Investigations Division of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office arranged for a female confidential informant to purchase drugs while driving an automobile with a hidden video camera. Duncan personally installed the camera in the car. Before sending the informant to purchase the drugs, Duncan verbally recorded the date and time on the camera. Duncan then followed the informant and observed her approaching Arthur Wagner (defendant). Duncan was unable to personally observe the drug purchase. However, the video camera recorded Wagner selling the informant drugs. After the purchase was complete, Duncan took the videotape and held it until it was time to show the video to the trial judge. There was no evidence that the videotape had been tampered with. At trial, Duncan testified that the camera was in good working order during the drug purchase. Another witness identified Wagner as the person selling the drugs in the tape. The informant was unavailable to testify. Wagner was found guilty of selling cocaine. Wagner appealed, arguing the videotape was not properly authenticated.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lawrence, J.)
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