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London v. State

Florida Court of Appeal, First District

November 22, 2011

Gregory L. LONDON, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Florida, Appellee.

Nancy A. Daniels, Public Defender, and Gail E. Anderson, Assistant Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.

Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Trisha Meggs Pate, Bureau Chief-Criminal Appeals, Tallahassee, for Appellee.

VAN NORTWICK, J.

Gregory L. London appeals his conviction for aggravated battery with great bodily harm, disability or disfigurement arguing that the trial court erred in admitting into evidence the recording of a 911 call. Appellant asserts that allowing the recording into evidence deprived him of his right of confrontation under Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 124 S.Ct. 1354, 158 L.Ed.2d 177 (2004). We conclude that the statements made to the 911 operator were non-testimonial because the statements were made to assist the authorities in addressing an ongoing emergency. Accordingly, we affirm.

Page 358

Prior to trial, the State indicated its intention to introduce the recording of a portion of the 911 call made by Ebony London, appellant's daughter and the victim's niece. The State had not been able to obtain service on Ms. London and she was not going to testify at trial. The State asserted that the 911 recording would not violate Crawford because the statements on the recording were not testimonial and enabled the police to meet an ongoing emergency. Defense counsel argued that, to the extent Ms. London told the 911 operator that her aunt was hurt and bleeding, her statements were not testimonial. Defense counsel contended, however, that the identification of Ms. London's father was testimonial. The court ruled that the recording was admissible.

The victim, Marjorie Roberson, testified that on March 27, 2010, she had taken Ms. London to her home. While there, appellant rode up on his bicycle and he and Roberson engaged in a conversation about Ms. London and her boyfriend. Appellant expressed his opinion that the boyfriend was dangerous. Appellant said he was going to " mess up" Roberson if Ms. London got hurt. When Roberson responded that she was going to help his daughter, appellant hit her in the face and knocked her to the ground. She sustained multiple fractures to her face.

During Roberson's testimony, the prosecutor played the recording of Ms. London's 911 call, as follows:

THE 911 OPERATOR: 911, how may I help you?

MS. LONDON: My auntie is hurt bad. (Inaudible)

THE 911 OPERATOR: What's the address, ma'am? What's the address?
MS. LONDON: 1125 Southeast Second Avenue. Please come. It's really bad.
THE 911 OPERATOR: Listen to me. (Inaudible)
MS. LONDON: Oh, God. (Cries)
THE 911 OPERATOR: Yes, ma'am. Calm down and give me the address. Okay. ...

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