The prosecutor objected to the tape as irrelevant hearsay. After listening to the tape, the court stated that it had heard no reference to a bubble shield or visor. Interpreting the dispatcher’s remarks about defendant’s case as “simply her impressions,” the court excluded the tape as irrelevant.
We agree with the trial court that the tape was irrelevant. Nothing said on the tape indicates the existence of a conspiracy to frame defendant. The dispatcher apparently knew little or nothing about the Koll murder investigation—until told by officers in the taped conversations, for example, she did not know who the suspected killer was or that he was in custody. Her remarks on tape are, as the trial court said, merely “her impressions” and not evidence of a police plan. Moreover, neither she nor any of the officers to whom she speaks discuss any plan to manufacture evidence against defendant.
The defense theory of relevance is apparently that discussion of a visor and a motorcycle accident in the late afternoon or evening of November 3 contradicts police testimony that the bubble shield introduced at trial was recovered in the early afternoon, and hence tends to show that testimony to be false and that the police intended to find an unrelated bubble shield and somehow link it to defendant. Even setting aside some obvious questions regarding the plausibility of the defense theory,16 the tape is equally or more consistent with an innocent explanation than with the alleged conspiracy. Because the bubble shield had been found in a street some distance from the crime scene, it was possible that it had been deposited there as the result of a prior motorcycle accident and had nothing to do with Koll’s killer. The investigating officers would logically want to exclude that possibility by determining that there had been no such accident in
16 Why, for example, would the hypothetical police conspirators exhaustively research past motor vehicle accidents in search of a visor when they could simply get one off a motorcycle helmet or from a store?