People v. TaylorAnnotate this Case
After thefts from a school office, a motion activated, wireless, digital camera concealed within a clock radio and a digital video recorder were installed. Over the weekend, the motion sensor triggered the DVR and a recording was made, which was later copied by the police. School officials identified a night watchman on the recording; he admitted to stealing cash from the office, but disagreed about the amount. When the state sought to admit the VHS tape at trial, defendant objected on foundational grounds, arguing that the video skips forward 30 seconds and the state failed to explain why the gap existed. Defense counsel also argued that it had not been shown that the camera was working properly. The trial court overruled the objection and found defendant guilty. The appellate court held that the state failed to establish even the probability that the VHS tape had not been tampered with. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed the appellate court and affirmed the conviction. The totality of the evidence demonstrated that the state laid a proper foundation for admission of the VHS tape.