In order for evidence of prior bad acts to be admissible, the State must demonstrate the following three elements: First, the evidence must be admitted for an appropriate purpose and should not raise an improper inference regarding the character of the accused. At the hearing, the State declared that it was presenting the evidence to show appellant Rittenhouse's intent and course of conduct, purposes which are recognized as appropriate. In his fifth enumeration of error, appellant Rittenhouse argues that the trial court erred in admitting evidence that on two other occasions, appellant Rittenhouse, along with others, severely attacked three men as a result of arguments over women. The trial court conducted a hearing to determine the admissibility of the similar transaction evidence. Appellant Taylor filed a notice of appeal on July 16, 1999, which was docketed in this Court on August 18, 1999. Hall is the ex-boyfriend of a woman with whom Dennis had been living in the home.
Appellant Rittenhouse asserts the admission of the booking photograph prejudiced the jury against him and that the photograph had no probative value. The two brothers were easily distinguishable at the time of the crime. In his third enumeration of error, appellant Rittenhouse asserts that it was error for the trial court to fail to charge the jury on proximate cause. The photograph was relevant to identify appellant Rittenhouse and to show how he appeared at the time of the crime. In his fourth enumeration of error, appellant Rittenhouse contends that it was error for the trial court to admit a booking photograph that depicted appellant at the time he was admitted to jail. Appellant Rittenhouse had so dramatically changed his appearance since the time of the crime that many witnesses had difficulty distinguishing between him and his twin brother, who was a codefendant. Finally, a sufficient similarity or connection must exist between the independent act and the crime charged such that the former tends to prove the latter. Second, there must be sufficient evidence that the accused committed the independent act.