The Appellate Group

State v. Welsh

State v. Welsh, 2022 UT App 99 (Tenney, J.)

Criminal Law

The State introduced text messages at trial through an officer. The officer testified that he saw the messages on the victim’s phone and that the phone number that sent the texts was listed as the defendant’s. The court determined that the State had sufficiently authenticated the messages. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • The district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that the State presented sufficient evidence to authenticate the text messages. Although the State did not present a witness who saw the defendant send the messages to the victim, the defendant’s phone number matched the number of the phone that sent the messages and the context of the messages provided support that the defendant sent them. 
  • The defendant suffered no harm from a doctor repeating the victim’s statements: “he got hold of me again,” and “he had kidnapped me.”

Read the full court opinion