Text messages from alleged murder victim may be allowed at trial

A text message allegedly sent by a murder victim regarding her relationship with the man accused of killing her could be admissible at trial.

During argument before President Judge Maureen Skerda on Tuesday, attorney Rob Kinnear, representing Matthew B. White, of Chandlers Valley, argued that his client’s right to confrontation would be violated if text messages allegedly sent by his alleged victim, were admissible in court.

He said records of calls to and from the alleged victim, Jessica L. White, should not be admissible without authentication.

District Attorney Rob Greene made an argument for one particular text message he said he plans to introduce at trial, which is scheduled to begin on Monday. He said he would have a witness testify to the authenticity of the message — that it was sent by the alleged victim.

The text in question was allegedly sent by Jessica White to her mother and read, “It’s been decided. We’re getting a divorce. Pretty sure it’s going to get messy.”

Greene said he was prepared to have the text recipient testify that the text was from her daughter (Jessica White) and further authenticate the contact.

Skerda did not directly rule on the admissibility of the text, but said, if a witness appropriately authenticates it, the text will be allowed.

The trial is scheduled for two weeks — from May 7 through 18.

On Tuesday, Greene said the trial could be much shorter than that, saying his side of the case may be concluded in “three or four days.”

COMMENTS