Larry returned from work and found his roommate Harry shaking, vomiting, and moaning in pain. Larry quickly drove Harry to a nearby emergency room. On the way to the hospital, Harry said: â€œCarol did this.â€
At the emergency room, a doctor immediately took Harry’s medical history. Harry told the doctor: â€œA friend gave me some brownies. They tasted a little funny, but I ate them. About ten minutes later, my heart started beating fast, this shaking started, and I had to vomit. Help me!â€
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A police officer, who had just transported another patient to the emergency room, overheard Harry’s statement. â€œWho gave you those brownies?â€ the officer demanded. â€œWe have to make sure he doesnâ€™t give them to anyone else. This could be a bioterrorist attack!â€ Harry told the police officer, â€œIt was my friend Carol, but Iâ€™m sure sheâ€™s not a terrorist. Sheâ€™s just a bad cook.â€
Harry then lapsed into a coma; the following day he died of heart failure. An autopsy revealed that Harry had been poisoned with dried venom taken from a Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius). That toadâ€™s venom causes hallucinations, nervous seizures, vomiting, and heart failure.
After a full police investigation, the prosecutor charged Carol with first-degree murder. The prosecutor claims that Carol intentionally poisoned Harry with venom-laden brownies. At trial, the prosecutor plans to introduce the following evidence:
- Larry’s testimony that, on the way to the hospital, Harry said â€œCarol did this.â€
- Harry’s patient chart from the hospital, in which the doctor recorded Larry’s statement that: â€œA friend gave me some brownies. They tasted a little funny, but I ate them. About ten minutes later, my heart started beating fast, this shaking started, and I had to vomit. Help me!â€ The emergency roomâ€™s head nurse will testify that the hospital has regular guidelines for documenting patient illnesses, and that Harry’s chart complied with those guidelines. The head nurse did not hear Harry’s statement; the doctor who treated him is not available to testify at trial.
- The police officerâ€™s testimony that Harry said â€œmy friend Carolâ€ when asked who gave him the brownies.
- Testimony by Dr. Todd Croak, an expert on animal toxins, that: â€œIn my opinion, the venom of a Colorado River Toad is so poisonous that any food containing this toadâ€™s venom was intended to kill the recipient.â€ Carol’s attorney has stipulated that the field of animal toxins is an appropriate one for expert testimony and that Croak is qualified in that field.
- Testimony from Carol’s sister, Betty, that Carol has a longstanding habitâ€”dating back to childhoodâ€”of collecting and torturing toads.
Apart from the stipulation noted in part (d) above, Carol’s attorney plans to challenge each of these pieces of evidence. Please discuss the specific objections that Carol should raise with respect to each piece of evidence and the likelihood of prevailing on those objections.
You do NOT need to write an IRAC essay for this assignment.