Argued: October 8, 2014.
As Corrected January 12, 2015.
Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. (DVM-2426-12). (Hon. Fern Flanagan Saddler, Trial Judge).
Thomas D. Engle, with whom Sharon L. Burka was on the brief, for appellant.
Adrienne Gurley, Assistant United States Attorney, for appellee. Ronald C. Machen, Jr., United States Attorney, and Elizabeth Trosman, Chrisellen Kolb, Danny Nguyen, and Ademuyiwa Bamiduro, Assistant United States Attorneys, were on the brief for appellee.
Before WASHINGTON, Chief Judge, and BLACKBURNE-RIGSBY and MCLEESE, Associate Judges.
McLeese, Associate Judge.
Appellant Danny Andrade seeks reversal of his
conviction for assault. Mr. Andrade contends that his Sixth Amendment right to
confront witnesses against him was violated by the admission of evidence that
the complainant, who did not testify at trial, made statements about the alleged
assault to the police officer who responded to the complainant's 911 call. We
agree and therefore reverse Mr. Andrade's conviction.
The United States's evidence at trial indicated the following. In November 2012, Shawnice Reed called 911. Ms. Reed indicated that she and her boyfriend Danny Andrade had gotten into an argument and that Mr. Andrade " been putting his hands on [Ms. Reed]." Ms. Reed, who sounded excited and upset on the 911 recording, asked the dispatcher to send the police, saying that she had locked herself in the bathroom but that Mr. Andrade was about to come into the bathroom. As the 911 call continued, Ms. Reed said that Mr. Andrade left the house, got on a bike, and went down the street. Ms. Reed then said that the police had arrived and that she was going to go speak to them.
Officer James Love and his partner went to Ms. Reed's residence in response to the 911 call. They arrived less than five minutes after they were advised of the call. Ms. Reed met them at the front door, and they walked inside to the living room and began to interview her. Ms. Reed was crying, stuttering, shaking, and obviously upset. Officer Love, who had been to the residence before, asked Ms. Reed whether the police had been called because of an
incident between Ms. Reed and Mr. Andrade. After Ms. Reed said yes, Officer Love asked what had occurred between them. Still very upset and crying, Ms. Reed gave the following account to Officer Love. Ms. Reed and Mr. Andrade got into an argument, and Mr. Andrade tried to push her down the steps. After Ms. Reed started to go down the steps, Mr. Andrade came after her, grabbed her by the hair, and hit her several times in the back of the head and the neck. Ms. Reed broke free, but Mr. Andrade grabbed her, putting both ...