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State v. Matatall

Supreme Court of Maine

November 20, 2018

STATE OF MAINE
v.
SCOTT F. MATATALL

         Reporter of Decisions

          Submitted On Briefs: September 26, 2018.

          Julie M. Healy, Esq., Law Offices of Peter J. Cyr, Portland, for appellant Scott F. Matatall

          Stephanie Anderson, District Attorney, William J. Barry, Asst. Dist. Atty., and Briana Esposito, Stud. Atty., Prosecutorial District No. Two, for appellee State of Maine

          Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HUMPHREY, JJ.

          SAUFLEY, C.J.

         [¶1] Scott F. Matatall appeals from a judgment of conviction for operating under the influence (OUI) with one prior OUI offense (Class D), 29-A M.R.S. §2411(1-A)(C)(2) (2017), entered by the court (Cumberland County, Fhtzsche, /.) following a jury trial. He argues that the court abused its discretion when, although it imposed a discovery sanction on the State by excluding a challenged video recording from the State's case-in-chief, it ordered that the State would be permitted to use the recording to impeach Matatall if Matatall testified and contradicted what the video showed. See State v. Landry, 459 A.2d 175, 177-78 (Me. 1983). The court did not abuse its discretion, and we affirm the judgment.

          I. BACKGROUND

         [¶2] On July 31, 2017, Matatall was charged by complaint with OUI with one prior OUI offense (Class D), 29-A M.R.S. § 24ll(l-A)(C)(2). He pleaded not guilty, and a jury trial was promptly scheduled and held on January 10, 2018.

         [¶3] Immediately before trial, Matatall's counsel moved to exclude a video recording of Matatall at the police station. The basis of the motion was the State's failure to notify Matatall of the video until two days before trial.[1] The State sought to offer the video in support of its allegations that Matatall refused to take an Intoxilyzer test and that Matatall was intoxicated and slurring his words.

         [¶4] The court ruled that because of the State's late disclosure, it would not be permitted to introduce the video in its case in chief. However, the State would be permitted to introduce the recording if Matatall testified and "clearly contradicted" the video evidence.[2]

         [¶5] The State's only witness at trial was the police officer who pulled over and ultimately arrested Matatall. Following the officer's testimony, the State asked the court to clarify with Matatall's counsel that, should Matatall testify, he would risk introduction of the video. Despite this clear ruling from the court, Matatall, after consultation with counsel, chose to testify and contradicted the video evidence. Matatall renewed his objection of the video in evidence, and the court allowed the State to impeach Matatall on cross-examination with admission of the video.

         [¶6] The jury returned a verdict of guilty. After hearing sentencing recommendations from both parties, the court entered a judgment of conviction, sentencing Matatall to six months' imprisonment, with all but twenty-one days suspended, a three-year license suspension, and a fine and assessments of $1, 130.[3] Matatall timely ...


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