When Co-Defendant Does Not Testify At Trial, May Police Testify About His Statements Incriminating Other Defendant?
Where State Claims Officer's Testimony Offered to Explain Investigation
State of Ohio v. Thomas J. Ricks, Case nos. 2011-1912
Sixth District Court of Appeals (Erie County)
ISSUE: When two co-defendants who are accused of jointly committing a crime are tried separately, and one co-defendant does not testify at the other's trial, does the "confrontation clause" of the U.S. Constitution prohibit the state from presenting testimony by a police officer that recounts incriminating statements about the defendant that were made to the officer by the non-testifying co-defendant if the court instructs jurors not to consider the incriminating statements as evidence of the defendant's guilt, but only as an explanation of the police's actions while investigating the crime?