State v. Rivera (2004)

In State v. Rivera, 268 Conn. 351, 844 A.2d 191 (Conn. 2004), the defendant and Michael Glanville allegedly murdered Audrey Lover and set fire to her house. The Rivera court found that incriminating statements Glanville made to his nephew during a car ride did not fall within any of the formulations of the core class of testimonial statements discussed in Crawford. Id. at 202. In State v. Rivera, an unavailable declarant's statement to his nephew, admitting his participation with defendant in a burglary that had given rise to a homicide, was found to be nontestimonial because it failed under the most expansive test articulated by Crawford v. Washington: an objective witness would not reasonably believe that the statement would be available for use at a later trial. The declarant made the statement in confidence and on his own initiative to a close family member, almost eighteen months before the defendant was arrested and more than four years before his own arrest. The Supreme Court of Connecticut held: "In light of these circumstances, the declarant's communication to . . . his nephew clearly does not fall within the core category of ex parte testimonial statements that the court was concerned with in Crawford v. Washington." Id. at 202.