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Hudson v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

August 21, 2019

DANIEL HUDSON, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Martin S. Fein, Judge; L.T. Case No. 15-005378CF10A.

          Carey Haughwout, Public Defender, and David John McPherrin, Assistant Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.

          Ashley Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Rhonda Giger, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.

          Forst, J.

         Appellant Daniel Hudson was charged with aggravated battery. A jury found Appellant guilty and he was sentenced to five years in prison. We reversed Appellant's conviction because the trial court abused its discretion in admitting evidence of an uncharged collateral crime. See Hudson v. State, 213 So.3d 941 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017) (Hudson I).

         At his new trial, Appellant was found guilty of the lesser included offense of felony battery and was again sentenced to five years in prison. He now appeals this judgment and sentence, making three arguments on appeal, two of which we find support reversal and remand.[1] First, the trial court erroneously permitted the State to again introduce evidence of the uncharged collateral crime, the same error that precipitated our earlier remand opinion. Second, the trial court erroneously instructed the jury on the forcible felony exception to Appellant's self-defense argument.

         Background

         A. Hudson I

         In Hudson I, we summarized the facts that led to Appellant's 2017 aggravated battery charge as follows:

The conviction stemmed from a fight over a car repair. Appellant contended that he and the victim had agreed upon a price for the repair. A dispute arose. The victim stopped working on the car until he was paid more money. The disagreement took a violent turn. The victim was bringing furniture home in a U-Haul when [A]ppellant approached him from the street. Although accounts of the incident varied, [A]ppellant was charged with stabbing the victim in the leg.

Hudson I, 213 So.3d at 942.

         The legal issue addressed in Hudson I involved Appellant's alleged confrontation with the victim's wife. Id. The State contended that after the stabbing, the victim's wife confronted Appellant, and that he punched the wife in the face. Id. The State did not charge Appellant with a crime related to the incident with the victim's wife. Before trial, defense counsel objected to the State introducing evidence of this incident. The State argued that evidence of Appellant punching the wife was inextricably intertwined with the stabbing. Id. The trial court overruled the objection, evidence was introduced related to this encounter, and Appellant was convicted on the charge of aggravated battery.

         On appeal, we reversed Appellant's conviction, finding the trial court abused its discretion in admitting evidence of an uncharged collateral crime. We found that "[i]t was not necessary to tell the full story of the stabbing, it did not establish the context out of which the stabbing arose, and it did not describe the events leading up to the stabbing." Id. at 943. We did not find the error to be harmless because "[w]ithout the testimony ...


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