Harris v. StateAnnotate this Case
The Court of Appeals reversed Defendant’s convictions arising out of a home invasion and robbery, arguing that the trial court erred in giving a missing witness instruction in this case.
None of the victims of the crime at issue in this case identified Defendant as a participant in the robbery. Defendant testified that he had been at his mother’s home on the night of the robbery, but his mother did not testify. At the prosecutor’s request, the trial court gave a missing witness instruction that advised the jury that it could infer from the mother’s absence that she would have testified unfavorably to Defendant. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for entry of an order vacating Defendant’s convictions, holding that the trial court’s decision to give a missing witness instruction in this case was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.