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Stouffer v. State – Case Brief Summary (Oklahoma)

In Stouffer v. State, 738 P.2d 1349 (Okla. Crim. 1987), Bigler Jobe Stouffer, II, was charged with murdering Linda Reaves and shooting Douglas Ivens with intent to kill him.

In his defense, Stouffer argued that Douglas Ivens had framed him for the murder and that he had shot Ivens in self-defense.

Stouffer attempted to elicit testimony from Ivens' estranged wife, Velva, about Ivens's drinking habits. She could not testify about his drinking habits at the time of the shootings, however, because they had not lived together for 15 months prior to the shootings.

The trial court excluded the evidence as being too remote to be probative.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the ruling of the trial court:

We agree with the trial court that Velva Ivens's knowledge was too distant to establish a then current pattern of Ivens's conduct or to be relevant, or to qualify as impeachment evidence. . . . The trial judge may properly limit collateral matters which may be the subject of impeachment. (Id. at 1356.)