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Missouri (2000)


State v. Battle, 415 SW3d 783 (2013, Missouri)

A detective testified that it was uncommon to see bruising 30 minutes after an incident and bruises on the victim’s neck would not show up right away but would appear the next day. The court held that this was an admissible lay opinion.

Most victims do not request medical attention; they’re scared; they don’t think they are severely injured until later when they have a sore throat.

The detective was assigned to the DVRT for 3 years and had been an officer for 8 years. During that time, the detective had handled 50-75 strangulation cases. The defense attorney objected that the detective was not a medical expert.

The victim was visibly upset; HBD; red marks, scratches, difficulty relating and writing down what happened. The victim refused medical treatment.

The defendant made partial admissions but denied choking the victim. He claimed he was just trying to help her across the street because she was drunk. A witness saw the defendant with his hand on her neck, and the victim was distressed.

The victim testified that the defendant had strangled her with two hands. The victim told the defendant she could not breathe and that he was going to kill her. She felt like she was going to lose consciousness. She couldn’t pry his his fingers from her neck. This lasted 1-2 minutes. It only stopped when someone came out of the bar.

Sufficient evidence. Judgment affirmed.

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