Case of the Week Archive

Loun v. State - 6th COA

The trial court committed harmful error when it admitted the prior recorded
testimony of an eyewitness during the punishment phase of the defendant's murder
trial when there was debate as to whether the now out-of-state witness was
unavailable under Rule of Evidence 804(a)(5). The State must make some good-faith attempt to produce the witness at trial
or to show that any efforts would have been futile. The State argued that it
would have been too expensive to bring the witness in from out of state and in
the alternative that it should not be required to subpoena the witness because a
subpoena does not reach across state lines. Because there is no evidence of any
good-faith effort on the State's part to secure the witness, the trial court
abused its discretion by admitting the prior recorded testimony. Loun v. State06-