Washington man accidentally records himself beating, threatening to kill his wife

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The state Supreme Court has reinstated the attempted murder conviction of a Vancouver man who accidentally recorded himself beating and threatening to kill his wife.

John Garrett Smith argued that the recording shouldn't have been admitted at his trial because it violated his privacy. He made the recording when he called his cell phone from his land line before the 2013 attack; he didn't hang up, and his cellphone recorded the beating.

The state Court of Appeals threw out his conviction, saying the recording contained a private conversation that was recorded without the couple's consent.

But the Supreme Court unanimously disagreed, finding that Smith himself made the recording and thus consented to it.

Smith was sentenced to 12 years. He is currently being held at Stafford Creek Corrections Center.


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