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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court decides one today

In Shawn Blount v. State of Indiana, a 15-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice Massa writes:

Shawn Blount appeals his conviction for being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm, arguing (1) the trial court erred by admitting a detective’s testimony that a witness identified Blount as the suspect, and (2) he was prejudiced by a material variance between the allegations against him and the proof used to convict him. We are asked to decide whether the detective’s testimony was inadmissible hearsay; finding it was, we hold the trial court abused its discretion by admitting it. Nevertheless, because we conclude the error was harmless and find no variance between the charging information and the evidence presented at trial, we affirm Blount’s conviction. * * *

Ultimately, the State’s use of a direct quote from the charging information—“on or about”—during closing argument cannot and does not constitute a variance where time is not an element of the offense. Because we find no variance between the pleading and the proof, we find no error.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 17, 2014 12:20 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions