APPEAL FROM JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT. HONORABLE AUDRA J. ECKERLE, JUDGE. ACTION NO. 10-CR-002393.
BRIEF FOR APPELLANT: Elizabeth B. McMahon, Assistant Public Defender, Office of Louisville Metro Public Defender, Louisville, Kentucky.
BRIEF FOR APPELLEE: Jack Conway, Attorney General; Ken W. Riggs, Assistant Attorney General, Frankfort, Kentucky.
BEFORE: LAMBERT, TAYLOR, AND VANMETER, JUDGES. ALL CONCUR.
Clarence McDonald directly appeals from the Jefferson Circuit Court's conviction for assault in the second degree, arguing that his conviction should be reversed and remanded because the trial court improperly admitted a 911 call into evidence at trial. After careful review, we affirm.
Willie Andrews and the appellant, McDonald, lived in a two-story house in Louisville, Kentucky, that had been converted into two apartments. Andrews knew the landlord and had been hired as a maintenance worker for the property. On
June 25, 2010, Andrews heard a loud knock on his door. When he opened the door, no one was there, and he heard McDonald ascending the stairs to his apartment. Andrews proceeded up the stairs and engaged McDonald in a discussion regarding a letter that had been delivered to McDonald while Andrews was out of town. Andrews and McDonald got into a physical altercation, which ultimately resulted in Andrews being taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
When the police arrived, McDonald was sitting on the steps to his apartment. He was cooperative and wanted to give a statement. An officer read McDonald his rights, and McDonald agreed to give a statement in the police cruiser. That statement was recorded by the in-car video system. McDonald stated that he had brought a piece of mail to Andrews, but then Andrews knocked on his door, came into his apartment, and wanted to fight. They started fist-fighting, and McDonald pushed Andrews out of the apartment and down the stairs. Believing he still needed to continue to defend himself, McDonald hit Andrews with several items, including a broom handle and a board, but the items broke.
The men's neighbor, Steven Taylor, returned home and witnessed the fight as it occurred. Taylor observed McDonald beating Andrews while Andrews was on the ground unable to defend himself. Taylor claimed he was able to distract McDonald long enough for Andrews to escape to his apartment.
Meanwhile Andrews's paramour, Cybil Artis, was inside his apartment and called 911. During the call, Artis was hysterical as she relayed the ongoing events and indicated that her friend was being beaten over the head and was bleeding. Artis repeatedly urged the responders to hurry and expressed fear and anxiety. In response, the operator elevated the call to a " code three." Shortly before the call ended, Artis indicated she " snatched him in the door," and the attacker was " banging on the door." Artis then indicated that the attacker had walked up the stairs holding a large piece of wood. She implored the response team to hurry because he was " bleeding from the head." The call was cut off shortly thereafter.
When the police and ambulance arrived at the scene, they found Andrews with multiple head injuries and transported him to the University of Louisville Hospital. The police recovered a broken broom handle and a broken piece of lumber from the scene. ...