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Law School Case Brief

Tucker v. State - 82 Nev. 127, 412 P.2d 970 (1966)

Rule:

When the other offense sought to be introduced falls within an exception to the rule of exclusion, the trial court should be convinced that the probative value of such evidence outweighs its prejudicial effect. The reception of such evidence is justified by necessity and, if other evidence has substantially established the element of the crime involved (motive, intent, identity, absence of mistake, etc.), the probative value of showing another offense is diminished, and the trial court should rule it inadmissible even though relevant and within an exception to the rule of exclusion.

Facts:

At defendant's trial for second degree murder, the court allowed the State, over defendant's objection, to introduce evidence of another instance of finding a dead man in his house. The trial court reasoned that the circumstances of two deaths were sufficiently parallel to render the evidence admissible. Defendant appealed his conviction for second-degree murder .

Issue:

Was there sufficient evidence to support the conviction of defendant?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

Theappellate court found that the evidence of the first homicide was not admissible for any purpose and that prejudicial error occurred when the trial court permitted the jury to hear and consider it because it was not proven by clear and convincing evidence that defendant committed the collateral offense. The appellate court reversed and remanded for a new trial because the prosecution did not prove that defendant committed the collateral offense before its circumstances were admitted into evidence.

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