U.S. v. Mendola

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Criminal Court
Case Number: 
No. 10-1595
Decision Date: 
February 11, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
In prosecution on drug charges, Dist. Ct. did not err in admitting testimony of Spanish-speaking linguist, who testified that voice on certain recordings of defendant’s prison telephone conversations matched voice on several wiretapped calls involving large-scale cocaine deal. While defendant argued that said testimony failed to comport with Rules 701, 702 and 1002, Ct. found that said testimony comported with Rule 901(b) since it was based on known recorded sample of defendant’s voice, and since govt. witness met minimal familiarity test for voice identification under Rule 901(b)(5). Ct. also rejected defendant’s contention that govt. could not use “expert” in some tangential field as lay witness for voice identification purposes.