This page documents some of the issues around the gun reported stolen in Yreka, a week earlier.
Jodi’s grandfather told police that a 0.25 gun was stolen in Yreka. It was recorded in a police report. However he didn’t testify, so it seems this would be hearsay. Instead the caliber of the gun came in through questions Flores asked Jodi. The minute entry denying the defense motion is here.
In the report on the burglary, Jodi’s grandfather (who died in February 2014), states the gun was loaded with seven hollow point bullets. But this did not come in during the first trial. It is not mentioned in news reports ( see here and here ).
Evidence that the Yreka bullets were hollow point did come in for the penalty retrial. See this video 58 minutes 30 seconds in. Note also 2 minutes 20 seconds in, Nurmi shows Exh. 210, asks if the bullet (recovered at the scene) is hollow point or not. Flores: “I don’t know, would have to refer to umm ballistics report.”
Summary: one reason why hearsay is generally excluded is that it infringes the right to confront witnesses, as laid out in confrontation clause of the 6th amendment. Especially if information favorable to the defense, evidence that the stolen ammunition was hollow point, was excluded, it would seem this may be a significant appeal issue.
An appellate defense lawyer said: “If I was Jodi’s attorney, I’d argue that unless she directly adopts the factual premise in the detective’s statements, it’s hearsay and violates the confrontation clause.”