State v. Shafer – Case Brief Summary (Washington)

In State v. Shafer, 156 Wn.2d 381, 128 P.3d 87 (Wash. 2006), the Washington Supreme Court held that the statements of a three-year-old rape victim to her mother and a family friend were nontestimonial because the witnesses to the statements were not acting on behalf of law enforcement and the declarant had no reason to believe the statements would be used in court. Id. at 92.

However, a dissenting justice stated that he would find a statement testimonial if it provided the functional equivalent of uncross-examined, in-court testimony and if it was offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Id. at 96-98 (Sanders, J., dissenting).