Impeaching on collateral matter: LITTLETON V. COM. (COA 10/12/2007)

LITTLETON V. COM.
CRIMINAL:  IMPEACHMENT ON COLLATERAL MATTER

2006-CA-001982
PUBLISHED: VACATING AND REMANDING
PANEL: BUCKINGHAM PRESIDING; THOMPSON, HENRY CONCUR
COUNTY: MASON
DATE RENDERED: 10/12/2007

Defendant’s convictions and 15 year sentence vacated. TC erred by allowing the Commonwealth to impeach Defendant’s testimony on a collateral matter. Littleton’s motive or reason for obtaining a weapon was irrelevant to his defense of whether he had bought it or had stolen it. Evidence that Littleton may have told his wife’s mother that he was going to kill her daughter is collateral to whether or not he broke into Henderson’s residence and stole Henderson’s pistol. Such evidence could not have been introduced into evidence for any purpose independently of self-contradiction. In sum, the prosecutor needlessly injected this irrelevant and highly prejudicial matter into the trial and that Littleton was unduly prejudiced thereby.

Digested by Scott C. Byrd
Olgin and Byrd

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