Is a Murder Victim's Statements to His Relative Admissible

In McKinney v. Bruce, No. 02-3248 JAR D. Kan. (July 29, 2004), the United States District Court in Kansas considered whether a murder victim's (Miller) statements to his uncle were violative of the Crawford rule of evidence: "Miller's statements that Les' [a defendant] wanted to talk to him and that he was leaving to go see what 'Les' wanted is nontestimonial. The statements were not ex parse in-court testimony, contained in formalized documents, nor were they the result of a police interrogation. Instead, they were statements made in a private conversation between Miller and his uncle." Bruce, No. 02-3248 JAR, slip op. at 12. The court further opined that hearsay statements admitted under the state of mind exception are not made under circumstances which would lead an objective person to believe that the statements would be available for use at a later trial.