S-12-0711, State v. Tyrese Phillips (Appellant)
Douglas County, Judge Thomas A. Otepka
Attorneys: Thomas C. Riley (Public Defender) --- Erin Tangeman (Attorney General’s Office)
Criminal: 2nd degree murder, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony
Proceedings below: A jury found Appellant guilty of both crimes. He was sentenced 50 to 60 years for 2nd degree murder with a consecutive 25 to 30 year sentence for use of a weapon.
Issues: 1. The trial court erred by allowing a witness to assert his right against compulsory self-incrimination thereby precluding the appellant from presenting highly probative evidence to the jury in the form of the testimony or statement of Tyler Weakly. 2. Assuming arguendo that the trial court correctly decided that Weakly's assertion of the Fifth Amendment privilege is justified, then his statement should have been admitted as an exception to the hearsay rule as an admission against interest. 3. The trial court erred when it precluded the Appellant from presenting Weakly's statement into evidence, as it is admissible under the residual exception to the hearsay rule. 4. The trial court erred when it denied Appellant's Motion for Mistrial and his Motion for New Trial based on the prosecutor’s misconduct. 5. The trial court erred when it denied Appellant's request to grant use immunity to the witness Tyler weakly thereby depriving the Appellant of testimony corroborating the Appellant’s testimony that the deceased was armed with a gun.