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Idaho (2005/2019)

State v. Thomas, 2014 WL 1266316, Unpublished

Was it murder or did the victim accidentally kill herself while engaged in erotic asphyxia?

The defendant claimed he wasn’t into it. She was. He left, and she kept going. The defendant was not permitted to testify that the victim was into erotic asphyxia and that he saw her do it twenty times.

The court of appeal held that it was an error to do so as it went to the defendant’s theory of the case that she killed herself, but it was a harmless error given the overwhelming evidence of guilt.

Admission to a friend. Scene appeared to be staged. Victim had VI consistent with a struggle. She urinated – she would have released pressure once she passed out. The defendant did not perform CPR or call 911 when he allegedly found her dead after he came back. The victim had a bloody nose consistent with manual strangulation. The defendant had scratch marks on his chest. No other witnesses or evidence corroborated she was into erotic asphyxiation.

State v. Denton Idaho unpub Lexis 47 (2014)

There was no prosecutorial misconduct. Despite inconsistencies, there was sufficient evidence. The victim said she was strangled by the defendant to both an officer and ER. The fact that she failed to mention her loss of consciousness didn’t matter in light oft other evidence. Both the officer and the ER described her demeanor and injuries, including difficulty swallowing and pain to the throat. She had signs and symptoms consistent with nonfatal strangulation.

Idaho v. Schulz, 2013 WL 5984478 – Unpublished

An ER Physician was presumed qualified, even though he only saw 2 strangulation victims per year. In a felony child abuse case, the daughter reported she was choked by dad to police and at prelim. The victim recanted at trial and said it was a hickey.

The expert testified that injuries (bruising) were consistent with strangulation, not a hickey, and could cause GBI.

The defendant claimed that the ER doctor was not qualified to diagnose strangulation injuries based on photos versus an actual exam.

The court of appeals disagreed, saying it was okay to base opinion on photos.

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