Threats and Warnings




• Because the statements were offered to prove that the defendant had threatened the victim and that [the victim] was afraid of [the defendant], they are hearsay, and inadmissible unless they fall under an exception of the hearsay rule.

Bassett v. State, 795 N.E.2d 1050, 1051 (Ind. 2003)

• At trial, the State asserted that this testimony was admissible because it was offered to prove motive or intent, not the truth of the matter asserted. However, it is readily apparent that this testimony was offered to prove the matter asserted, specifically that [the defendant] had threatened [the victim]. Therefore, it is hearsay and inadmissible unless one of the exceptions applies.

Willey v. State, 712 N.E.2d 434, 443 (Ind. 1999)

• Officer Endres's testimony about [the victim’s] statements is mixed hearsay and non-hearsay . . . . The first part of her statement, regarding the victim's state of mind, comes within the named exceptions to the hearsay rule. The second part, that [the defendant] had threatened to kill [the victim] in order to quiet her, related to [the defendant’s] conduct and therefore is inadmissible hearsay. That statement should have been excluded or stricken.

Taylor v. State, 659 N.E.2d 535, 543-44 (Ind. 1995)(emphasis added)

• Hearsay is a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted. A statement is not hearsay if offered for another purpose. [The witness’] statement was not offered to prove that [the defendant’s cousin] would “burn” [the witness’s] children. Rather, it was offered to show why [the witness] waited until several weeks after the shooting to talk to the police.

Bufkin v. State, 700 N.E.2d 1147, 1150 (Ind. 1998)(quotation marks and citations omitted)

• Here, the evidence was not offered as proof of the matter asserted but to describe the circumstances under which Defendant operated and which resulted in [the victim’s] death. Where the issue of self-defense is raised, evidence of prior threats made by the victim is admissible for the purpose of showing his intention, motive, disposition, or state of mind toward the defendant.

Miller v. State, 720 N.E.2d 696, 704 (Ind. 1999)(citing Nuss v. State, 328 N.E.2d 747, 754 (Ind. Ct. App. 1975))

• [The defendant] may present evidence of [his neighbor’s] threat to him to the extent that the threat revealed that [the neighbor] intended to make false accusations, or is relevant to [the neighbor’s] motive for doing so.

Hyser v. State, 996 N.E.2d 443, 449 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013), reh'g denied


• As for the declarative statements on the labels that infants can suffocate on soft bedding and that failure to follow the product warnings could result in serious injury or death, the evidentiary purpose of these proffered statements was not to prove the facts asserted. Rather, the State offered the photographs of the labels to establish what information was presented and available to [the defendant] when using the portable crib and her resultant state of mind. Specifically, the State argued to the jury that “there are these giant warning labels” on the portable crib that “you see immediately” that would have alerted [the defendant] to the information contained on the labels, irrespective of the truth of that information. Because the statements contained on the labels were not offered for the truth of the matter asserted, they were not hearsay.

Phillips v. State, 25 N.E.3d 1284, 1289 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015)(citation to the record omitted)