State v. BowmanAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of first-degree murder and other offenses and sentencing him to life imprisonment without parole, holding that the trial court violated Defendant's Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses against him by limiting Defendant's cross-examination of the State's principal witness, and the error was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.
At Defendant's murder trial, Lakenda Malachi was the only witness to provide direct evidence of Defendant's presence at the scene. Defendant sought to impeach Malachi's testimony, but the trial court sustained objections to defense counsel's questions. After Defendant was convicted he appealed. The court of appeals concluded that the trial court committed constitutional error by restricting Defendant's cross-examination of Malachi and that the error was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals correctly found that the trial court committed prejudicial error.