Cruz v. Honorable BlairAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the pre-trial orders of the trial court precluding Defendant from presenting at trial expert and lay witness testimony about his intellectual disability, holding that the trial court properly precluded the evidence but that Defendant could introduce admissible "behavioral-tendency evidence" through expert and lay witness testimony.
Defendant was charged with child abuse, kidnapping, and first-degree felony murder for his daughter's death in the course of committing child abuse. Defendant was originally found incompetent to stand trial but, after restoration treatment, was determined competent to stand trial. At issue was certain pre-trial rulings made by the trial court. The Supreme Court held (1) the trial court properly precluded Defendant's proffered expert and lay witness testimony about his intellectual disability; (2) Defendant, however, may introduce what is sometimes referred to as "observation evidence" through expert and lay witness testimony; and (3) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in reducing Defendant's proposed list of lay witnesses from eleven to two.