Connor v. State (Unpublished Memo): If there’s one thing worse than drunk dialing, it’s drunk dialing from jail as the conversation is being recorded. It’s just not a good time to threaten your cheating wife.
Nothing remarkable about the case except the facts. Conner objects to the recording as inadmissible and the officer’s testimony as opinion and hearsay.
The officer’s testimony was hearsay. He didn’t hear the conversation live. A jailer did. The jailer called the officer to come listen to the recording. The jailer didn’t testify. The officer did — based on what he’d heard on the tape. Connor objected to some of the officer’s hearsay, but also let some of it come in without objection.
The officer also offered an inadmissible opinion. The officer testified that Connor’s wife must have been “annoyed” by the call.
“Annoyed” didn’t begin to cover it for the wife. She testified that Connor told her that she “needed to be out of town prior to him being released from jail . . . and he told me that we would talk but it would be with his fist.” She (sensibly) took that as a threat of serious bodily injury. That covers anything the officer said and then some.
Unanswered question: Are routinely recorded jailhouse calls admissible? The Tyler court didn’t rule on the admissibility of the tape. Instead, the Tyler court assumed, “without deciding” that playing the tape for the jury was error. Error that was made harmless by, among other things, the wife’s testimony