Brief Fact Summary. The defendant, Arthur Barrett (the “defendant”), appealed from a conviction arising from the theft and sale of a collection of postage stamps from a museum in Massachusetts. The admissibility of a statement made by the defendant’s alleged co-conspirator was at issue.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Statements offered to “exculpate the accused [must] be corroborated so as to ‘clearly indicate the trustworthiness of the statement.’ ”
The defendant appealed his conviction arising from the theft and sale of a collection of postage stamps from a museum in Massachusetts. The defendant’s nickname was “Bucky”. The defendant’s co-conspirator, Ben Tilley (“Mr. Tilly”), died prior to trial. “Buzzy” Adams testified against the defendant during trial. The defendant argued that the trial court erred in refusing to allow the testimony of three witnesses. The first and only one of relevance here was James Melvin (“Mr. Melvin”). The government objected to Mr. Melvin’s testimony about a conversation he had with Mr. Tilly. The defendant made an offer of proof that Mr. Melvin would testify that “he, Tilley and Buzzy