November 1, 2016
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
(CCC-12-15) (Hon. Marisa J. Demeo, Trial Judge)
M. Hart, Washington, for appellant.
Donovan, Special Assistant Attorney General, Office of the
Solicitor General, with whom Karl A. Racine, Attorney General
for the District of Columbia, Todd S. Kim, Solicitor General
at the time the brief was filed, and Rosalyn C. Groce, Deputy
Solicitor General, were on the brief, for appellee.
Easterly and McLeese, Associate Judges, and Ruiz, Senior
appeal requires us to consider the application of evidentiary
principles of hearsay to the admissibility of evidence
obtained from a cellphone and the use of such evidence as
proof of criminal contempt for violating a civil protection
order ("CPO") that prohibited appellant from having
contact with a specific person. We conclude that the trial
court properly admitted evidence from that persons cellphone
regarding appellants calls, and that there was sufficient
evidence to sustain the trial courts finding that
appellants conduct of calling the specified persons
cellphone constituted contact and violated the terms of the
CPO. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
I. The Trial
March 24, 2015, Associate Judge Marisa Demeo presided over
appellants bench trial. The trial judge took judicial notice
of a CPO, entered on June 20, 2014, which provided that
appellant "shall stay at least 100 feet away from"
Ms. Erie Hollonquest, her home, her workplace, her vehicle,
and her fathers nursing home. The CPO also stated that
appellant "shall not contact [Ms. Hollonquest] in any
manner, including but not limited to" by telephone, in
writing, or "[i]n any other manner, either directly or
indirectly through a third party." The government
presented three witnesses at trial: Ms. Hollonquest and
Officers Richard Davis and Michael Daly of the Metropolitan
Police Department ("MPD"). Appellant testified in
Hollonquest testified that she had known appellant for three
years and once lived with him. On November 15, 2014, while
the CPO was in effect, Ms. Hollonquest checked her mail on
the ground floor of her apartment building. As she sat down
on the bottom steps leading to the ground level, Ms.
Hollonquest saw appellant run into the building. Ms.
Hollonquest testified that appellant then ran toward her and
said "Im going to crush you." After two people
stepped in between appellant and Ms. Hollonquest, she called
Hollonquest testified that appellant had called her cellphone
"several times" that day before the encounter in
the building lobby. She did not answer those calls, but knew
it was appellant calling because "his name was in [her]
phone under his number," and "[h]is name
appeared" as the caller on her cellphones screen. She
always used this number "in [her] phone" to call
appellant, and appellant always called her from that number.
Ms. Hollonquest could not remember appellants phone number
offhand, but believed that the last four digits were either
"1491" or "4191." Ms. Hollonquest
testified that she
showed the missed calls displayed on her phone to an MPD
officer who responded to her 911 call.
Officer Davis responded to the 911 call and interviewed Ms.
Hollonquest at her apartment building. He testified that
during this interview, she showed him the "missed
calls" screen on her cellphone, which listed "a
missed call with a cell phone written on it."
Specifically, he saw the phone number and wrote it down in
his notes. At trial, Officer Davis could not recall how many
missed calls were listed, or the telephone numbers for the
missed calls, but his contemporaneous notes recording the
phone number (XXX) XXX-1491 were admitted into evidence.
Defense counsel objected, based on hearsay, to admission of
the telephone number Officer Davis recorded from the
cellphones "missed calls" screen. The trial judge
concluded that the "missed calls" screen evidence
was not hearsay because the screen was not a "person
making an out-of-court statement."
Officer Daly testified about his interactions with appellant
when he went to the apartment building after the 911 call.
Officer Daly sat with appellant and also took notes, which he
consulted at trial. Looking at the notes, Officer Daly
testified that he recorded appellants phone number as (XXX)