Williams v. StateAnnotate this Case
A conviction that is more than fifteen years old is not irrelevant as a matter of law to a character witness’ opinion about a defendant.
After he was convicted for second-degree assault, Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court improperly admitted evidence of his 1990 battery conviction. The Court of Special Appeals held that the trial court was permitted to allow the State to impeach character witnesses with evidence of Defendant’s twenty-five-year-old battery conviction where each character witness testified regarding Defendant’s reputation for peacefulness. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) the trial court did not err in deciding that the 1990 battery conviction bore some legal relevance to the character witnesses’ testimony; and (2) the probative value of the 1990 battery conviction was not substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.