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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 opinion(s) today (and 2 NFP memorandum decisions)

For publication opinions today (1):

In Shawn Wilson v. State of Indiana, a 25-page opinion, Chief Judge Vaidik writes:

Daniel Jaffke was working as a pizza-delivery driver when he was shot to death and his black Jeep was stolen from an apartment complex on the south side of Indianapolis. Jaffke’s Jeep was soon discovered in a laundromat parking lot located very near Shawn Wilson’s stepmother’s house, where Wilson appeared the night of Jaffke’s murder saying that he had just shot a man on the south side and had used the handgun that was—at that point—sticking out of his waistband. One of Wilson’s fingerprints was found inside Jaffke’s Jeep. Wilson was charged with murder; felony murder; robbery as a Class A felony; and carrying a handgun without a license, a Class A misdemeanor enhanced to a Class C felony due to a prior conviction. The State also sought a sentencing enhancement for use of a firearm in the commission of the offense. A jury found Wilson guilty of all charges. At sentencing, the trial court merged felony murder into murder, and reduced the robbery from a Class A felony to a Class C felony to avoid double-jeopardy concerns. The trial court also imposed the five-year use-of-a-firearm sentencing enhancement, for a total sentence of sixty-five years to be executed in the Indiana Department of Correction.

Wilson now appeals his convictions and sentence, contending first that the trial court abused its discretion in preventing Wilson from cross-examining a witness on prior inconsistent statements he had made during a deposition. Specifically, Wilson argues that the witness’s deposition testimony that he had been arrested once before when, in fact, he had been arrested four times should have been admitted under Indiana Evidence Rules 607, 616, and 608(b).

We find that these rules do not support the admission of the witness’s prior inconsistent statements. Wilson also contends that several statements made by another witness during her deposition—that she had heard someone say that he and Wilson had committed the offense; and had heard another person say that she had been asked to dispose of the weapon and had done so—should have been admitted as hearsay-exception “statements against penal interests” under Indiana Evidence Rule 804, but for the trial court’s determination that Wilson had not shown those individuals were “unavailable” as required by that rule.

We agree that Wilson did not make the requisite showing of unavailability and the hearsay statements were, therefore, inadmissible. Wilson additionally argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his convictions. Finally, Wilson challenges several aspects of his sentence. Finding no error, we affirm Wilson’s convictions and sentence.

NFP civil decisions today (0):

NFP criminal decisions today (2):

Michael Daugherty v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

George McDade v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 23, 2015 11:15 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions