People v. TrzeciakAnnotate this Case
Defendant was charged with the 2004 murder of Kasavich. In pretrial motions, the trial court ruled that some evidence of domestic violence was relevant to defendant’s motive for the killing and to intent, but limited the evidence that was admissible, finding that the admission of all of it would be more prejudicial than probative. The trial court denied defendant’s motion to exclude certain testimony from defendant’s wife based on the marital privilege. The appellate court concluded the communications between his wife and defendant were protected by marital privilege because they were made during the marriage and were made privately. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed and remanded. Defendant’s threat to kill his wife and Kasavich was not made in reliance on the confidences of his marriage; defendant intended that his wife reveal the threat to Kasavich. It is the type of communication that the wife might have revealed to a family member or the police. Defendant’s threat, that it was not motivated by his reliance on the intimate, special trust, and affection of the marital relationship.