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State v. Maldonado

Court of Appeals of Idaho

December 11, 2018

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
JUAN CARLOS MALDONADO, aka CARLOS JUAN MALDONADO, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the District Court of the Third Judicial District, State of Idaho, Canyon County. Hon. Davis F. VanderVelde, District Judge.

         Judgment of conviction for domestic abuse with traumatic injury and being a persistent violator, affirmed.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Reed P. Anderson, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; John C. McKinney, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

          LORELLO, JUDGE

         Juan Carlos Maldonado appeals from his judgment of conviction for domestic abuse with traumatic injury and being a persistent violator. Maldonado argues that the district court erred in admitting hearsay testimony and denying his motion for mistrial. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Maldonado was charged with domestic battery with traumatic injury, I.C. §§ 18-903(a) and 18-918(2), and a persistent violator enhancement, I.C. § 19-2514. During trial, the State sought to introduce statements made by the victim to the responding emergency medical technician (EMT) and the treating physician's assistant (PA) identifying Maldonado as the assailant. The State argued that these statements were admissible pursuant to I.R.E. 803(4)--statements made for purposes of medical diagnosis or treatment. The district court admitted the statements over Maldonado's objection.

         On the second day of trial, the State inadvertently introduced the unredacted version of an audio exhibit that included a statement by the victim to a detective that Maldonado had been in prison and did not like to be disrespected. Maldonado moved for a mistrial, arguing that the reference to him having previously spent time in prison was prejudicial. The district court denied the motion, finding that, although the statement was inadmissible, the error could be remedied by striking the exhibit and instructing the jury to disregard it. Subsequent to this remedial action, the State recalled a detective and admitted the redacted version of the audio exhibit. The jury found Maldonado guilty of domestic battery with traumatic injury and the persistent violator enhancement. The district court entered judgment and imposed a unified twenty-year sentence, with six years determinate. Maldonado appeals.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The determination whether to admit evidence under one of the recognized hearsay exceptions is generally a matter that is left to the broad discretion of the trial court. State v. Nelson, 131 Idaho 210, 215, 953 P.2d 650, 655 (Ct. App. 1998). When a trial court's discretionary decision is reviewed on appeal, the appellate court conducts a multi-tiered inquiry to determine whether the lower court correctly perceived the issue as one of discretion, acted within the boundaries of such discretion, acted consistently with any legal standards applicable to the specific choices before it, and reached its decision by an exercise of reason. State v. Herrera, ___ Idaho ___, ____, 429 P.3d 149, 158 (2018).

         A district court's denial of a motion for mistrial is reviewed for reversible error. State v. Urquhart, 105 Idaho 92, 95, 665 P.3d 1102, 1105 (Ct. App. 1983).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. Admission of ...


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