High court takes case of testimony by video

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) -- The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether a defendant's right to confront a witness was violated when two out-of-town witnesses testified by video in a Kent County trial.

The state appeals court in January threw out the sexual-assault conviction of James Buie. He says it "didn't feel right" to have witnesses testify from outside the courtroom.

The witnesses were experts who were in Detroit and Virginia. Buie's defense attorney agreed to their appearance by live video because she still could cross-examine them.

The Supreme Court last week said it will look at many issues, including whether Buie's substantial rights were affected even if the trial judge made an error by allowing the testimony. He's serving a life sentence.

Published: Mon, May 30, 2011