The Appellate Group

State v. Swearingen

State v. Swearingen, 2023 UT App 155 (Christiansen Forster, J.)


A criminal defendant was convicted of distributing or arranging to distribute a controlled substance based largely on the testimony of a confidential informant. On appeal, the defendant argued that the trial court had abused its discretion by excluding evidence concerning the nature of the relationship between the informant and law enforcement. The Utah Court of Appeals reversed the ruling, holding:

  • The trial court abused its discretion when it improperly excluded evidence of the informant’s prior arrest and that mistake prejudiced the defendant.

Read the full court opinion