653 N.E.2d 478 (Ind. 1995), 71S00-9310-CR-1196, Johnson v. State

Docket Nº:71S00-9310-CR-1196.
Citation:653 N.E.2d 478
Party Name:Andre D. JOHNSON, Appellant, v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
Case Date:July 21, 1995
Court:Supreme Court of Indiana
 
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Page 478

653 N.E.2d 478 (Ind. 1995)

Andre D. JOHNSON, Appellant,

v.

STATE of Indiana, Appellee.

No. 71S00-9310-CR-1196.

Supreme Court of Indiana.

July 21, 1995

Edward C. Hilgendorf, South Bend, for appellant.

Pamela Carter, Atty. Gen., Lisa M. Paunicka, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

ON DIRECT APPEAL

SELBY, Justice.

On appeal is the sole issue of whether the trial court erred in determining that independent evidence established the corpus delicti for robbery and that evidence of extrajudicial confessions by the defendant was thereby admissible. We affirm.

I.

Seventy-four year old Florence Hoke called her niece, Nancy Whiteman, at 8:30 a.m. on April 10, 1990, and told Whiteman that she was going to get license plates for her car. At 12:30 p.m., Whiteman called Hoke twice, but Hoke did not recognize her. Whiteman went to Hoke's apartment, where she discovered Hoke sitting in a chair holding her head. Whiteman called "911." [R. 233] Richard Bourdon, a paramedic, arrived and observed that Hoke was disoriented and unable to communicate. He observed a small bruise and a bump on the back of Hoke's head. At the hospital later that day, Whiteman observed bruises on Hoke's knees and on one elbow.

Hoke was diagnosed as suffering a subdural hematoma, "a collection of blood that forms under the external cover of the brain." The treating physician testified that subdural

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hematomas are caused by trauma, which could result from "a blow to the head, a fall, [or] any type of force." Doctors performed a craniotomy, but Hoke never regained consciousness, and died approximately two months later from pneumonia and infection. Hoke's new license plates were found in her apartment, but her purse was missing. A leather bow resembling one that was on Hoke's purse was found on the ground near where Hoke's car was parked.

On April 10, 1990, Margaret Jackson resided with Homer Frison. Andre D. Johnson visited that morning and left with Frison. The two told Jackson that when they returned they "would either have some money or would have a way of making some money." When Frison and Johnson later met up with Jackson, they had a purse and a wallet containing credit cards belonging to Hoke. The trio went shopping, Jackson purchased cigarettes with the credit cards, and the trio sold the cigarettes to obtain money to purchase drugs.

Following a jury trial, Johnson was convicted of robbery, a Class A felony, and of being an habitual offender. The trial court sentenced Johnson to fifty years for the robbery conviction, to be served concurrently with the sentence imposed for an unrelated offense. For the habitual offender conviction, the trial court sentenced Johnson to twenty-five years, to be served consecutive to the robbery sentence.

II.

At issue in this case is whether the trial court erred in admitting the testimony of four witnesses, Odie Miller, Anthony Taylor, Darrell Vaughn, and Detective Sergeant Michael Swanson...

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