Topics: Appellate Review

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State v. Konohia

106 Hawai'i 517, 107 P.3d 1190 (2005)

Background: Defendant was convicted of attempted manslaughter, criminal property damage and unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.
On appeal, Konohia claims that the trial judge erred in 1) admitting into evidence recordings of 911 calls made by the alleged victim and one of Konohia's relatives, ... We affirm.
[Victims Erik Coral-Sands (Coral-Sands) and Joel Lamotte (Lamotte) were approached, confronted, chased, and beaten in their van while driving on a dirt road through pineapple fields on their way to the Pauwela Lighthouse.] While Coral-Sands' van was being chased around the pineapple fields by Konohia's car, Coral-Sands used his cellular telephone to call 911. Coral-Sands' 911 call, which was recorded, continued through his van rolling-over and the alleged assault in the van.
The recording of Coral-Sands' 911 call captured the actual sounds of the alleged assault, including the sounds of a violent struggle and the tones of voice used by the participants. This portion of the recording, in particular, was relevant and admissible regardless of whether all the voices were identified. It gave the jury a true audio picture of the alleged assault and an accurate context from which to consider the testimony of the witnesses.
We conclude that there was sufficient evidence to authenticate the recording and establish its admissibility. The 911 dispatcher testified that she received a call from an Erik Coral-Sands, that the recording equipment was working properly, and that the State's exhibit was an accurate recording of Coral-Sands' 911 call. The 911 dispatcher verified that the female voice on the recording was her voice. Evidence identifying Coral-Sands' voice was also introduced.
Lamotte testified that the recording accurately reflected what had transpired after Coral-Sands called 911, including everything that happened in the van. The additional voices of Lamotte, Konohia, Randall, and Boniface were identified on the recording. The voice identification evidence provided a basis for distinguishing the voices of Coral-Sands and Lamotte from the other voices heard during the alleged assault.
The State satisfied HRE Rule 901.

HRE 901

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