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Defense win! Circuit court erred in denying Machner hearing

State v. Tammy Genevieve Hardenburg, 2019AP1399-CR, 5/27/20, District 1; case activity (including briefs)

At Hardenburg’s OWI trial, the court admitted three blood test reports by three different analysts, but only one of them testified. Hardenburg argued that the testifying analyst served as a conduit for the opinions by the other two in violation of the confrontation clause. She claimed trial counsel was ineffective for not (a) trying to prevent the admission of the second and third analysts’ conclusions, and (b) objecting to the first analyst’s testimony about their conclusions. The circuit court denied Hardenburg’s motion without a hearing. The court of appeals reversed:

¶21 . . . Hardenburg’s postconviction motion alleged facts sufficient to warrant a Machner hearing. While Hardenburg did not contest evidence of her odd behavior at the time of her arrest, she argued about its causes. Because neither of the arresting officers actually saw Hardenburg driving, the State attributed Hardenburg’s behavior—multiple times—to the allegedly high levels of amphetamines in her system. Both officers testified that they thought Hardenburg was intoxicated with alcohol; however, the toxicology report determined that Hardenburg did not have alcohol in her system. Macans testified that multiple other drugs were found in Hardenburg’s blood, but she could not testify about the effects of those drugs, either individually or in conjunction with one another. Macans further acknowledged that the other drugs found in Hardenburg’s system were within the therapeutic range.

¶22 The defense theory, on the other hand, was that Hardenburg’s behavior was caused by mental illness. Kleinfeldt testified that he considered the possibility that Hardenburg was suffering from mental illness. Macans also acknowledged that she could not differentiate between behavior caused by mental illness and behavior caused by high levels of amphetamines

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