Avsenew v. StateAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed Defendant's convictions for first-degree murder and sentences of death, holding that the introduction of the testimony of Defendant's mother constituted harmful error.
During Defendant's trial, Defendant's mother, Jeanne Avsenew, testified regarding multiple incriminating statements made and actions taken by Defendant shortly after the murders. At issue was whether the perpetuated testimony testimony of Jeanne, which was given despite her inability to see Defendant during her testimony, violated Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.190(i)(3), which requires that the defendant be in the witness's presence during testimony. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the failure to ensure that Defendant was kept in the presence of his mother during her testimony constituted a clear violation of Rule 3.190(i)(3); and (2) the error was not harmless.