Thursday, May 23, 2013

Deason v. State case brief

Deason v. State case brief
881 So.2d 58

CASE SYNOPSIS: Defendant appealed the judgment of the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County (Florida), which convicted defendant of cruelty to animals and attempted inhumane slaughter of an animal.

FACTS: Defendant's conviction arose from the stabbing of a pig on his property. Witnesses saw defendant with a knife, but not the knife that was used to stab the pig. Another man at the scene, who happened to be an informant for the police, was also seen with a knife. The pig was euthanized due to its injuries. Defendant's sole issue on appeal was that the trial court erred by prohibiting him from establishing bias on behalf of the deputies by introducing relevant evidence about the other knife-holder, in that he was a confidential informant in unrelated cases. The court agreed and held that the trial court abused its discretion by excluding the evidence sought to be admitted by defendant with regard to the informant. The court noted that an accused had a right to present relevant evidence in his own defense and that the evidence regarding the informant was such relevant evidence, in that it provided a theory that defendant did not stab the pig and the police could have been biased in arresting defendant for the crime instead of the actual perpetrator.

CONCLUSION: The court reversed the judgment and remanded the case to the trial court for a new trial.

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