Texas Rule of Evidence 614 Interpretation (Witness Statement)

Rule 614 requires that after a witness in a criminal trial has testified on direct examination, upon motion of the opposing party, the party proffering the witness must produce any statement of the witness in their possession that relates to the subject matter of the witness' testimony. TEX. R. CRIM. EVID. 614. Rule 614(f) defines "statement," for purposes of the rule, as: (1) a written statement made by the witness that is signed or otherwise adopted or approved by him; or (2) a substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement made by the witness that is recorded contemporaneously with the making of the oral statement and that is contained in stenographic, mechanical, electrical, or other recording or a transcription thereof; or (3) a statement, however taken or recorded, or a transcription thereof, made by the witness to a grand jury. TEX. R. CRIM. EVID. 614(f) (1997) (currently at TEX. R. EVID. 615(f)). Former Rule 614 of the Texas Rules of Criminal Evidence became Rule 615 of the Texas Rules of Evidence in 1998. Because TEX. R. CRIM. EVID. 614 was the version effective at time of Appellant's trial, all references will be made to that rule. Once a party requests a witness statement, the trial court should determine whether the writing constitutes a statement as defined by rule 614(f). Williams v. State, 940 S.W.2d 802, 805 (Tex. App.--Fort Worth 1997, pet ref'd.). If the trial court determines that a writing or recording is not a statement, then Rule 614 does not require production. Id. The trial court's determination is reviewed under the abuse of discretion standard. Id.