Doerr and Pixley owned several strip clubs. They were
arrested on suspicion of running a prostitution ring.
At trial, the prosecution attempted to introduce a
statement made by Doerr to his brother and a statement made by Pixley to a
Generally, statements made out of court are not
admissible on the grounds they are hearsay.
The prosecution argued that these met the FRE
801(d)(2)(E) exception because they were statements made by a
co-conspirator during the course of and in furtherance of the conspiracy.
Doerr argued that the statements were inadmissible
because they were not made in furtherance of the conspiracy, so they
didn't qualify for the exception.
The Trial Judge allowed the statements to be admitted into
The Trial Court found Doerr guilty of running a
prostitution ring. He appealed.
The Appellate Court reversed the Trial Judge's decision to
admit the evidence.
The Appellate Court found that the term "in
furtherance of" should be read to mean, "information flow
between conspirators intended to help each perform its role."
In this case, both statements were just idle chatter to
people not related to the conspiracy.
The prosecution argued that the customer had expressed
interest in investing in the strip club, and the brother sometimes
worked as a doorman at the strip club. However the Appellate Court
didn't find that persuasive.
The Appellate Court found that since the statements were
not made "in the furtherance of" the conspiracy, they did not
meet the FRE 801 (d)(2)(E) exception and were therefore not
admissible since they were hearsay.
"In furtherance" means that the statement was
made for purposes of:
To keep co-conspirators advised
Attempt to conceal the conspiracy.
However, narratives and idle chatter are not made in
furtherance of a conspiracy.
Btw, a conspiracy is not only a criminal offense, but it
also a civil claim. Evidence can be admissible in a civil case if it
was made in the furtherance of a conspiracy, even if it is a civil
claim, not just a criminal prosecution.
The bad news for Doerr was that the Appellate Court found
that the admission was harmless error and upheld the convictions.
Btw, even if the statements were not admissible against
the co-conspirators, the statements are always admissible against the
person making the statements because those are admissions.