Telephone recording to be allowed at Rapid City fetal homicide t - KOTA Territory News

Telephone recording to be allowed at Rapid City fetal homicide trial

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A recorded telephone call will be allowed at the trial for a man accused of trying to kill his unborn child.
 
Alfredo  Vargas, 35, will face a Pennington County jury on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 7th Circuit Judge Janine Kern ruled that a telephone recording (made in March of 2011) is admissible. Specifically, prosecutors want to use a statement  Vargas allegedly made to his wife, Melissa  Vargas, admitting he gave his ex-girlfriend two drinks with an herbal substance.

The defense argued that the recording would amount to hearsay because Melissa  Vargas will not be testifying at trial.

Prosecutors allege that  Vargas tried to make his ex-girlfriend have a miscarriage by spiking her soda with labor inducing herbs.
 
Vargas faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison if found guilty.

(Original Story)

State prosecutors have changed their minds about using a recorded telephone call between a man accused of attempted fetal homicide and his wife.    

Alfredo  Vargas, 36, who made his court appearance via telephone from Glendive, Montana, will face a Pennington County jury on Wednesday.  Before then, 7th Circuit Judge Janine Kern will decide whether testimony about the telephone recording is hearsay.

Specifically, prosecutors want to use a statement Vargas allegedly made to his wife, Melissa Vargas, admitting he gave his ex-girlfriend two drinks with an herbal substance.

Kern ruled Friday that the recording is admissible (not protected by spousal privilege) because Vargas' wife knew that a detective was listening. 

But because it is unlikely that Melissa Vargas will be able to testify to the recording, a hearing was scheduled for Monday to determine if her recorded statements would be hearsay. 

Prosecutors allege that  Vargas tried to make his ex-girlfriend have a miscarriage by spiking her soda with labor inducing herbs.  While her baby was born healthy a few months later, the state is charging Vargas with attempted fetal homicide.

This case is in its third year.  Initially, charges were dismissed by the state after a another judge rejected the state's experts.  

He faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison if he's found guilty.

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