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State v. Kelley

Supreme Court of Vermont

May 20, 2016

State of Vermont
v.
Shawn Kelley

         On Appeal from Superior Court, Chittenden Unit, Criminal Division, Michael S. Kupersmith, J.

          Thomas J. Donovan, Jr., Chittenden County State's Attorney, and Pamela Hall Johnson, Deputy State's Attorney, Burlington, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

          Michelle Kainen of Kainen Law Office, PC, White River Junction, for Defendant-Appellant.

          PRESENT: Reiber, C.J., Dooley, Skoglund, Robinson and Eaton, JJ.

          SKOGLUND, J.

         ¶ 1. Defendant Shawn Kelley argues that this Court should vacate his domestic assault conviction because numerous reversible errors occurred during his jury trial. Specifically, he claims that the trial court improperly admitted two pieces of hearsay evidence, that the trial court incorrectly denied his motion for judgment of acquittal, and that the State made prejudicial remarks during its closing statement. We affirm.

         ¶ 2. The following facts are drawn from the testimony of witnesses and the exhibits introduced at trial.

         ¶ 3. On New Year's Eve 2013, defendant and his girlfriend, the complainant, welcomed the new year at defendant's apartment. They spent the early part of the evening drinking. Later in the evening, the dispatcher at the Williston State Police barracks received a 911 call from the complainant. Distraught, the complainant spoke with the dispatcher:

DISPATCHER: Vermont 911, where is your emergency?
COMPLAINANT: Umm, I need an ambulance-
DISPATCHER: Where?
COMPLAINANT: 9 Fuller Place.
DISPATCHER: Ok, I need you to speak up a little bit. Nine what place?
COMPLAINANT: Fuller.
DISPATCHER: In what town?
COMPLAINANT: Essex.
DISPATCHER: Ok. Is this for you or someone else?
COMPLAINANT: Me.
DISPATCHER: Ok. How old are you?
COMPLAINANT: I'm forty-seven.
DISPATCHER: Ok. What's happening to you?
COMPLAINANT: I was beaten.
DISPATCHER: Ok, who beat you?
COMPLAINANT: [Defendant].
DISPATCHER: Is he still there?
COMPLAINANT: Yes.
DISPATCHER: Ok. Is he hiding or does he-
COMPLAINANT: I'm- No-
DISPATCHER: Are you hiding?
COMPLAINANT: Well, kind of . . . yes.
DISPATCHER: K, what is your ...

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