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Particular Examples of Misconduct, § 904.04(2) – “Context”

State v. John P. Hunt, 2003 WI 81, reversing unpublished order of court of appeals
For Hunt: Rex R. Anderegg


¶58. First, the circuit court could reasonably have concluded, as it did, that the other-acts evidence was admissible for the purpose of establishing context. Other-acts evidence is permissible to show the context of the crime and to provide a complete explanation of the case. Pharr, 115 Wis. 2d at 348-49; Shillcutt, 116 Wis. 2d at 236. The context of other-acts evidence in this case provided insight as to the unique circumstances in the Hunt household. The other-acts evidence provided an understanding of the abuse that took place in the home, and the authority and control Hunt possessed over Ruth, Angelica, and the children living with them. Moreover, the other-acts evidence of abuse toward Ruth, and drug use, provided a context in which the jury could understand the victims’ and witnesses’ fear of the defendant and their pattern of recantations.


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