Howard v. State

In Howard v. State, 2002 WY 40, 42 P.3d 483 (Wyo. 2002), the Court outlined a procedure which must be followed by the parties and the district court in receiving evidence pursuant to Rule 404(b). The Court held when "a defendant files a pretrial demand for notice of intent to introduce evidence under W.R.E. 404(b), the same shall be treated as the making of a timely objection to the introduction of such evidence." Howard, P 23, 42 P.3d at 490. The State must then respond with sufficient information to meet the balance of our four-part test for determining the admissibility of other bad acts evidence. The Court reaffirmed that the test set forth in Huddleston v. United States, 485 U.S. 681 (1988), is used in Wyoming to determine the admissibility of other bad acts evidence pursuant to W.R.E. 404(b). Under Huddleston, there are four criteria for testing the admissibility of other bad acts evidence: (1) The evidence is offered for a proper purpose; (2) The evidence is relevant; (3) The probative value of the evidence is not substantially outweighed by its potential for unfair prejudice; (4) Upon request, the trial court instructs the jury that the similar acts evidence is to be considered only for the proper purpose for which it was admitted."