Question on local murder case for the legal eagles

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by wygator, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. wygator
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    wygator Well-Known Member

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    Here in Casper, Wyoming, a man in on trial for murdering his wife. Here is a local news report as a mistrial was declared yesterday:

    How is it that the fact he was having an affair is inadmissible? Wouldn't that go to motive? Appreciate any enlightenment on this issue.
  2. wygator
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    wygator Well-Known Member

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    By the way, he looks guilty to me:)

    [​IMG]
  3. MichiGator2002
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    MichiGator2002 VIP Member

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    I assume it was ruled improper character evidence in a pretrial motion, and that it would be more prejudicial than probative, i.e. more likely to make the jury convict him of being a bad person than to prove any particular element of the crime. *Why* the guy killed his wife isn't in and of itself part of the state's burden. Hard to be definitive without really trying to read up on the case.
  4. Lawdog88
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    Lawdog88 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, he did it.

    But back to the procedure, sounds like the defense moved to keep it out pre-trial, and the witness violated the order. Sometimes, the State fails to brief their witnesses on "what not to say," based on these kinds of rulings. Sometimes the witnessess don't listen, and say bad stuff anyway.

    Like Michi, without knowing the reason for the ruling and why it would have been so inflammatory (quite likely sounds to have been irrelevant, as well), it is hard to say more.
  5. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    That's a difficult question to answer since that would require a bit more familiarity with the facts of the case

    If the information was excluded pre-trial, then the defense attorney had presumably filed a Motion in Limine and successfully argued that piece of information was not relevant to the case itself and disclosing it to the jury would be unfairly prejudicial to the defendant. After all, the jury should be deciding the case on the merits, not because he's a crappy husband and was cheating on his wife.
  6. CHFG8R
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    CHFG8R Premium Member

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  7. BigCroc
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    BigCroc Premium Member

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    Agree with the comments above. I'm sure the case will be reset for trial, however, you can bet that the defense will argue that the State intentionally ignored the court's order in limine and/or goaded the witness into giving the improper testimony and that double jeopardy should bar a retrial. Doubt that the tactic will be successful, but would be surprised if it's not at least attempted.
  8. wygator
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    wygator Well-Known Member

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    Yes...I did say that to be inflammatory and prejudicial:)

    I do believe in innocent until proven guilty. Doesn't mean everyone who's guilty gets convicted.
  9. wygator
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    wygator Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the insight, friends. I understand that it's difficult when you don't have all the facts of the case, but your responses were helpful as I figured there were likely some legal principles at work that you could identify.
  10. CHFG8R
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    CHFG8R Premium Member

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    Not a slam at you. . . just a great opportunity to relive one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies. :grin:

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