Statements Indicative of the Declarant's State of Mind Are Admissible In Michigan

In Michigan, the general rule is that statements indicative of the declarant's state of mind are admissible when such is an issue in the case. People v. White, 401 Mich 482, 502-503; 257 NW2d 912 (1977); see also People v. Furman, 158 Mich App 302, 315; 404 NW2d 246 (1987). The White Court explained that, usually, a victim's state of mind is in issue in a homicide case if the defendant asserts a claim of self-defense as justification for the killing, suicide or accidental death. White, supra at 504. In such cases, evidence that the victim feared the defendant is relevant because it suggests that it is unlikely that the victim was an aggressor, or that the death was a suicide or an accident. Id.