Bell v. Florida

The defendant, Mr. Gary Paul Bell, was charged and convicted with the crime of attempted kidnapping. At the trial, his victim, through her testimonies, claimed that the defendant exhibited attempted kidnapping in two counts to wit: (1) When the victim was walking along the street during daytime, the defendant drove up to her and offered to give her a ride to her destination, twice; (2) When the defendant forced the victim to get into the van by grabbing her around the neck and holding a gun to her head[1].

The victim, who was able to break free from Mr. Bell, ran into traffic and tried to get the help of others in escaping the defendant. The defendant, on the other hand, remained standing nearby with his gun pointing towards his victim, threatening to shoot her. When the victim reached her house she called the police.

The officer attending the case noted that the victim was in state of hysteria. The victim was found very upset and could not speak. Likewise, it was also noted that the victim was only made to give a statement after a series of attempts of making her relay the incident, which lasted for fifteen to twenty minutes[2].
The testimonies given by the victim and the attending officer were admitted in the court as evidence on the basis of hearsay rules and exceptions. The defendant, appeals on the court’s decision on his conviction on the basis of contrive or misrepresentation and that the testimony of the attending officer on the accounts of the crime of the victim should be excluded as hearsay.
 The issue is whether the testimony given by the attending officer regarding the accounts of the victim on the crime of attempted kidnapping should be excluded as hearsay.
[1]Cases Relating to Chapter 12, 747.

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New York University

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