State v. Wright, 735 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 10 (App. Div. II, March 26, 216) (J. Miller)
UNDERCOVER POLICE OFFICER REAL TIME DESCRIPTION OF DRUG TRANSACTION HE WAS OBSERVING CONSTITUTES PRESENT SENSE IMPRESSION EXCEPTION TO HEARSAY RULE
An undercover police officer “J.D.” arranged to purchase methamphetamine from one defendant. There was a hidden recording device in J.D.'s truck. Fellow officers were tailing J.D. for his protection and to ultimately make an arrest. They were listening in to the recording device. When the defendant exited the truck to make the buy J.D. described what he observed as the defendant entered another parked car and made the buy from his co-defendant. Defendants were convicted. The trial court's ruling that J.D.'s description of the transaction constituted a present sense impression exception to the hearsay rule was affirmed.
Because J.D. was describing in real time the people, car and what occurred that he could see the statement should be admitted as a present sense impression Ariz. Rule Evid. 803(1). The fact that the statements were not only being recorded but also transmitted to other nearby officers primarily for his safety, and not after the fact in anticipation of making a case against the defendants, was adequate reason to dismiss concern that the statements were unreliable.