State v. Francis, 455 S.W.3d 56 (Mo. Ct. App. 2014)

Key Insight: Court reversed conviction and remanded for new trial based on error in admission of text messages found on Blackberry in Defendant?s possession at the time of his arrest where the State argued that ownership of the Blackberry could be inferred and failed to establish that at-issue text messages were authored by the defendant, which in turn, negated the state?s arguments for admitting the outgoing text messages as well: ?There was no evidence that Appellant owned the BlackBerry or, more importantly, authored the messages. The fact that Appellant possessed the phone at the time of arrest is insufficient by itself to establish that Appellant authored text messages sent hours or days earlier. Because the State failed to establish that the text messages were authored by Appellant, the outgoing messages were not admissible as admissions by a party opponent and, thus, the incoming messages were not admissible under any identified exception to the hearsay rule.?

Nature of Case: Drug conviction

Electronic Data Involved: Text messages from Blackberry

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