The Appellate Group

State v. Centeno

State v. Centeno, 2023 UT 22 (Pohlman, J.)


Defendant was convicted of multiple charges related to the sexual assault of his girlfriend. He appealed his convictions, and The Utah Supreme Court affirmed, holding:

  • The district court did not err in overruling the defendant’s objection to providing the jury with a video exhibit of his police interview. The relevant version of Criminal Rule of Procedure 17(k) allowed the exhibit to be provided to the jury. The defendant did not preserve his other arguments on the issue.
  • The defendant did not show prejudice when he argued ineffective assistance regarding admission of an officer’s body camera footage. 
  • The district court did not err in denying his motions for a mistrial and new trial.
  • Practice tip: A defendant’s out-of-court statement impugning his own credibility or incriminating himself carries little risk of undue emphasis.
  • Practice tip: Although structural error generally presumes prejudice, a defendant must still show that he was prejudiced by his counsel’s performance.

Read the full court opinion