Campos-Martinez v. State, 011119 INCA, 18A-CR-1724

Docket Nº:18A-CR-1724
Opinion Judge:ROBB, JUDGE.
Party Name:Ismael Campos-Martinez, Appellant-Defendant, v. State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
Attorney:Attorney for Appellant Mark K. Leeman Leeman Law Office and Cass County Public Defender Logansport, Indiana Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Laura R. Anderson Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana
Judge Panel:Riley, J., and Kirsch, J., concur.
Case Date:January 11, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of Indiana

Ismael Campos-Martinez, Appellant-Defendant,


State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

No. 18A-CR-1724

Court of Appeals of Indiana

January 11, 2019

Pursuant to Ind. Appellate Rule 65(D), this Memorandum Decision shall not be regarded as precedent or cited before any court except for the purpose of establishing the defense of res judicata, collateral estoppel, or the law of the case.

Appeal from the Cass Superior Court The Honorable James Muehlhausen, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 09D01-1801-F6-40

Attorney for Appellant Mark K. Leeman Leeman Law Office and Cass County Public Defender Logansport, Indiana

Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Laura R. Anderson Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana



Case Summary and Issue

[¶1] Following a jury trial, Ismael Campos-Martinez was convicted of domestic battery, a Level 6 felony, and was sentenced to two years incarceration. Campos-Martinez appeals his conviction, raising one issue for our review: whether the trial court abused its discretion in admitting hearsay testimony as an excited utterance. Concluding the trial court did not err in admitting the testimony and even if it did, the error was harmless, we affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶2] Campos-Martinez and Natasha Campos were in a relationship for ten years and married for the last year of that time. When they got together, Natasha had three children from a previous relationship, and Campos-Martinez and Natasha then had two children together. Late in 2017, their marriage hit a rough patch, and Campos-Martinez moved out of the Logansport home he shared with Natasha and the five children and into the home of Allison Rosas, a woman with whom he was having an affair.

[¶3] On the morning of January 21, 2018, Campos-Martinez came to the family home to spend time with the children. During his visit, Allison called several times, which upset Natasha, who was still holding out hope for a reconciliation. At some point, Campos-Martinez took the four youngest children with him to the laundromat to wash some clothes. Natasha called Campos-Martinez several times to no avail. Suspicious that Campos-Martinez was meeting Allison there, Natasha walked to the closest laundromat and found Campos-Martinez video chatting with Allison while the kids played games. They argued for several minutes at the laundromat; Campos-Martinez was mad that Natasha had followed him to the laundromat and Natasha was mad that Campos-Martinez was on the phone with Allison instead of spending time with the kids. Campos-Martinez was unable to answer Allison's repeated calls because Natasha was following him around the laundromat and refusing to leave, and he told Natasha to "go back home and wait[.]" Transcript, Volume II at 44. Natasha went outside but did not leave until Campos-Martinez finished his laundry and the group returned to the house together. Shortly thereafter, Natasha found Campos-Martinez outside talking to Allison on the phone. Campos-Martinez then announced that he had to leave, even though it was early afternoon and he was supposed to be with the children until evening.

[¶4] Natasha and Campos-Martinez began fighting about Campos-Martinez "let[ting] another girl take time away from his kids[.]" Id. at 46. Campos-Martinez became angry and said he was leaving whether Natasha liked it or not. He said goodbye to the children and as he walked out the door onto the back porch, Natasha grabbed the back of his sweatshirt. When Campos-Martinez turned around, Natasha thought he was going to hit her, so she hit him first. Campos-Martinez "was really really p*ssed off at that time" and hit back, but Natasha ducked and the blow landed on her back, which caused her pain. Id. at 47. Campos-Martinez then grabbed Natasha's arms "so [she] couldn't hit him anymore." Id. At one point in this brief altercation, Natasha yelled. A.M., her oldest son, heard her and came to the porch to try to break up the fight. As Campos-Martinez and Natasha continued to struggle with one another, A.M. was also hit, although Natasha did not know whether she or Campos-Martinez hit him. Campos-Martinez and Natasha then separated and everyone returned to the house. Natasha told Campos-Martinez to leave Allison or she would call the police. Ten to fifteen minutes after the altercation on the back porch, Natasha called 911.

[¶5] Officer Jarred Coffing, an Indiana conservation officer, was working the 3:30pm to midnight shift as a field training officer to probationary officer Jordan Wagner. They heard the 911 call come through as they passed through Logansport. Officer Coffing said they were...

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