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W. Valley City v. Kent, 2016 UT App 8 (Jan. 14, 2016)

Jan 14, 2016

The City appealed from the district court’s exclusion at trial of the victim’s preliminary hearing testimony. After the preliminary hearing, the court had received two letters purportedly written by the victim in which she stated that she wanted to withdraw her prior statements, had made false accusations, and wanted the charges dropped. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that the district court abused its discretion in (1) relying solely on the differences between a preliminary hearing and trial to conclude the defendant did not have the same motive to cross examine the victim, and (2) holding that the intervening letters made the preliminary hearing testimony inadmissible without considering the factors set out in State v. Menzies, 889 P.2d 383 (Utah 1994).