Bean v. State, 1181

Citation460 N.E.2d 936
Case DateMarch 19, 1984
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 936

460 N.E.2d 936
Raymond BEAN and Judy Bean, Appellants,
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 1181 S 331.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
March 19, 1984.

Page 938

R. Steven Prifogle, Monroe County Deputy Public Defender, Bloomington, for appellants.

Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen., Joseph N. Stevenson, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

PIVARNIK, Justice.

Defendants-appellants Raymond and Judy Bean are husband and wife. The couple was tried jointly in Monroe Superior Court on charges of manslaughter and neglect of a dependent. The trial concluded on May 6, 1981. Judy Bean was convicted of Voluntary Manslaughter, Ind.Code Sec. 35-42-1-3 (Burns Repl.1979), and Neglect of a Dependent, Ind.Code Sec. 35-46-1-4 (Burns Supp.1980), for which she received sentences of twenty (20) years and four (4) years, to be served consecutively. Raymond Bean was convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter, Ind.Code Sec. 35-42-1-4 (Burns Repl.1979), and Neglect of a Dependent, for which he received sentences of eight (8) years and four (4) years to be served consecutively. They now appeal.

Six issues are raised on appeal, concerning:

1. whether defendant Raymond Bean could be convicted of neglect of a dependent and of manslaughter where it is alleged: that the deceased was not a dependent of Raymond Bean; that neglect of a dependent was a lesser-included offense of involuntary manslaughter; and that there was insufficient evidence to convict him of either offense;

2. whether there was sufficient evidence to convict Judy Bean of voluntary manslaughter;

3. whether there was an alleged conflict of interest in the joint representation of the defendants by the same attorneys;

4. whether the defendants were denied the effective assistance of counsel;

5. whether the trial court erred in refusing to grant a change of venue; and,

6. whether the trial court erred in refusing to hold a hearing on the defendants' motion alleging jury misconduct.

The evidence most favorable to the State reveals that the victim, Mary Ann Neely, was an adult incompetent, moderately retarded, and had spent most of her adult life in institutions. In December, 1977, Judy Bean was appointed guardian for Mary Ann. Mary Ann actually went to live with the Beans in 1976. Mary Ann had previously resided in the home of someone who was acquainted with the Beans. It is apparent from the record that Judy Bean knew having custody of Mary Ann would bring remuneration from the Welfare Department. It is also apparent that Judy Bean realized she could seize control of the Social Security checks Mary Ann received each month. Mary Ann was taken into the Beans' home and remained with them through 1976 and into 1977. There was a short period in 1977 when Mary Ann was taken back to a convalescent center. At that time she reported that she had been beaten by the Beans and feared going back to their home. Nevertheless, Mary Ann returned to the Bean residence and finally, in December, 1977, Judy Bean was made Mary Ann's legal guardian. Mary Ann continued to reside with the Beans in their home until she died in January, 1981. The testimony of the witnesses covering the time Mary Ann resided with the Beans revealed what can only be described as a very sordid story. The briefs submitted by both parties devote about 75 pages to the facts revealed through the testimony of witnesses. The challenge is to adequately describe these tragic events without overburdening the presentation of facts in this opinion.

Page 939

Mary Ann Neely was a very small person, only 4 feet, 10 inches in height. Her condition was microcephalic, that is, her head was abnormally small. Her body was quite thin and had hardly any musculature. Mary Ann had improved mentally by 1975 and did not require further institutionalization. She was placed in the custody of foster homes and was able to function quite well. Although she did have a couple of accidents, she was not considered a clumsy person or one that could be described as "accident prone." She had injured her teeth in a bicycle accident and had a fracture in one of her feet prior to 1977. She also had injured one ankle when she turned it on an earlier occasion. X-rays taken in 1978 revealed that Mary Ann had only one hand fracture, in the right hand. There was also a showing of minor vertebrate or ligament calcification where she had received her ankle injury in 1973. When Mary Ann was examined at the hospital just prior to her death in 1981, and when an autopsy was taken, X-rays revealed that she had 12 fractures in her hands and over 30 fractures throughout her body.

During the time she was with the Beans, particularly from late 1977 until her death in 1981, Mary Ann's physical condition underwent a progressive and drastic change. Many witnesses testified they observed the Beans, more often Judy than Raymond, beating Mary Ann. The witnesses described incidents where Judy Bean struck Mary Ann with her fist and knocked her to the floor. Judy Bean would then kick Mary Ann with her feet. Judy Bean was observed poking Mary Ann with a broom and once while using a broom, Judy Bean struck Mary Ann across the back with such force that Mary Ann fell to the floor.

Jess Inman, a Bloomington police officer, testified that on February 14, 1977, he was called in on an alleged abuse case. This was the short period of time when Mary Ann was at a mental health clinic and convalescent center and temporarily out of the Beans' custody. Inman discovered that Mary Ann had made the call for help from the home of neighbors. She showed Inman some bruises on her thigh and leg, and some large, black bruises that were visible beneath her blouse. Mary Ann said she received whippings for no apparent reason from the Beans. Mary Ann told Inman that for months she had been abused by both Mr. and Mrs. Bean and when Mrs. Bean was away, Raymond would get mad and, for no reason, whip her with his boots. He would then place her in a closet for a long time. Officer Inman testified that it would be very difficult for Mary Ann to have inflicted those injuries on herself.

The State called many witnesses who identified themselves as acquaintances of the Beans. These witnesses had been inside the Bean residence many times during the period from 1977 to 1981. Some of these acquaintances were relatives of Mr. and Mrs. Bean, while others were baby sitters or house cleaners, social workers, and neighbors. These witnesses testified about incidents where Mary Ann Neely was either grossly neglected by the defendants or physically abused by them. One witness was a teacher in a school located across the street from the Beans' home. The teacher saw Judy Bean strike and kick Mary Ann in the front yard and then pick her up and throw her into the house. Several of the witnesses testified that the rest of the Bean family would be eating while Mary Ann was not allowed to eat anything. When she was allowed to eat, Mary Ann would sit in the corner by the refrigerator or somewhere on the kitchen floor. There were times the witnesses observed Mary Ann locked in the furnace room where she would remain for an entire day without food or water. Mary Ann looked undernourished and sickly, and always had bruises, sores, and many spots of dried blood or dried pus on her body. When Judy Bean went to work or went shopping, she would leave Mary Ann sitting in the pickup truck all day, sometimes in very hot weather.

A number of witnesses were merchants or bankers in the area. These witnesses testified that they conducted business with Judy Bean, who claimed to be Mary Neely. They sold microwave ovens, washing machines,

Page 940

and other appliances, on credit, to the woman represented to be Mary Neely and issued credit cards in the name of Mary Neely to her. Loans to buy a pickup truck and to buy a boat were secured in the name of Mary Neely. All of these purchases and credit arrangements began in 1977 and continued until 1981. The Beans later admitted they had made all of these purchases and falsely represented that they were being made by Mary Neely because the Beans themselves were heavily in debt and had no credit rating. Some of the accounts went into default and repossessions were made. Gary Gants, assistant district manager for Social Security in Bloomington, said that in December, 1977, Judy Bean started receiving Social Security checks as representative payee for Mary Ann Neely. The amounts ranged from $154.50 per month to $194.80 per month.

Sometime late on December 24, 1980, or on December 25, 1980, Mary Ann Neely was injured by a blow to the left side of the head. Judy Bean later informed her cellmate that she struck Mary Ann in the eye on Christmas Eve. Jimmy J. Newman, an emergency medical technician, made the ambulance run on January 3, 1981, to the Bean residence at 2412 Brown Avenue in Bloomington. Newman stated that the patient was Mary Ann Neely. Raymond Bean told Mr. Newman that Mary Ann had fallen and hit her head on a bathtub. Mary Ann was holding her head and her eyes were closed. She did not respond to questioning but after Newman administered an ammonia inhalant, Mary Ann was brought around and started answering questions. Newman described Mary Ann as being very small, thin haired, with sores on her face, and in very poor condition. When asked if she had fallen, Mary Ann said she had not. Newman said it was not his responsibility to decide whether she should go to the emergency room but Judy Bean said she would clean Mary Ann up and, if necessary, assume responsibility to take her to the hospital. Newman informed the Beans he would take her to the hospital if she was acting other than normal because she was in very bad shape. The Beans assured him that she was acting normally and they would take care of her.

Paul Taylor is an emergency medical technician with the Bloomington Fire Department. Taylor was called to the Bean residence the next day, January 4, at 12:57 p.m. There he...

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