Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Nebraska Court of Appeals reverses guilty verdict for second degree assault and sexual assault for the Sheridan County District Court's erroneous admission of prior crimes evidence. However the appeals court does not decide whether the District Court's failure to give the "other crimes" limiting instruction when the court allowed the evidence, as State v. Sanchez, 257 Neb. 291, 597 N.W.2d 361 (1999) requires. State v. Sutton , A-06-1297, 16 Neb. App. 185 Evidence of prior assault between defendant and victim was not admissible under 27-404(2) RRS Neb. The court admitted the evidence and the appeals court found the error harmful beyond a reasonable doubt. The district court failed to give a Sanchez limiting instruction, but since the admission of evidence was itself reversible error, the appeals court does not determine whether the court's failure to give Sanchez limiting instructions would be reversible error."The trial court failed to state such purpose at the time of the hearing required by rule 404(3)—which was an earlier opportunity for the trial court to “state the purpose or purposes” in order to comply with the procedures mandated in Sanchez. However we need not consider whether the trial court’s failure to abide by the Sanchez requirements constitutes reversible error in the instant case, given that we have concluded that the evidence was inadmissible. We simply point it out to remind trial courts of the requirements set forth in State v. Sanchez."