CASE LAW UPDATE: Whether defendant’s convictions must be reversed because wife was erroneously permitted to testify against her husband?
Defendant was convicted of 2nd degree arson and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. At trial, his wife testified against him. Defendant appealed. On appeal, defendant argued that his convictions must be reversed because his wife was incompetent to testify against him based on the marital privilege. The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that allowing wife’s testimony was plain error, and that the testimony affected defendant’s substantial rights as it elicited the financial motivation that bolstered the State’s theory and was highlighted throughout trial. Reversed and remanded.
State v. Gill, A19-1173, Redwood County.
Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.