March 10, 2010
Disturbingly Humorous MySpace Posts Used as Impeaching Evidence in Spousal Abuse Case--Embry v. State
Embry v. State, 2010 WL 768755 (Ind. App. Ct. March 8, 2010)
I've blogged before about the use of postings to MySpace or other social networking sites as a new source of impeaching evidence. In this case, an ex-husband was accused of beating his ex-wife. He unsuccessfully argued self-defense. The court quotes the following testimony about the wife's attitudes towards her husband:
"On cross-examination, the defense questioned her about a number of derogatory statements she had posted about Embry on her MySpace blog prior to the incident in question:
BY [DEFENSE]: ... Prior to Au-April 22nd, 2008 had you ever expressed or communicated in any way that you wanted your ex to die a slow painful death?
A I believe you're referring to my “My Space” ...
Q I'm not-I-no, I'm not referring to anything. I'm just asking you a simple question: if you'd ever expressed or communicated in any way that you wanted your ex-husband, Mr. Embry, to die a slow painful death?
A I see it right there on your desk.
A It's my “My Space” blog.
Q Okay, did you say it?
A I typed it.
Q Okay. But the answer is, did you say it? I mean is that your communication.
A I typed it.
Q Okay. And did you ever express um, or communicate in any way that you wanted to be present and dance the cha-cha around his slow painful death?
A It's all there in the blog.
Q Okay. The answer's a simple yes or no. You said it; you've communicated it some way, did you?
A If you want to put that blog there, I ...
Q I'm just asking you a simple question.
BY COURT: Ma‘am, will ya just answer the question yes or no?
A Yes, I did.
Q Did you ever refer to Mr. Embry or communicate in any way that he was a worthless bag of monkey shit?
Q Did you ever refer to him as dog piss?
Q Did you ever refer to him as a worm puke stale crusty moldy inhuman horrible human oxygen sucking moron?
Q Did you ever communicate the desire, that because he's older and more stupid than you, he will die way before you do?
A I believe I said please assure me that it was possible that he would pass before me."
The state's attorney redirects with this understated summary:
"BY [STATE]: Ms. Embry, is it fair-fair to say that you're not very fond of your former husband?
A No, I am not fond of him at all."
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