Coleman v. State, No. 574S100

Docket NºNo. 574S100
Citation339 N.E.2d 51, 264 Ind. 64
Case DateDecember 29, 1975
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 51

339 N.E.2d 51
264 Ind. 64
Wardell COLEMAN, Appellant (Defendant below),
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).
No. 574S100.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
Dec. 29, 1975.

Page 53

Robert R. Riggle, Jeffersonville, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Robert S. Spear, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

[264 Ind. 65] PRENTICE, Justice.

Defendant (Appellant) was convicted of armed robbery and other offenses hereinafter enumerated, all of which arose from the robbery and escape therefrom. His appeal to this Court challenges (1) the sufficiency of the evidence, (2) the legality of a conviction of armed robbery without a charge and conviction of robbery, (3) the admission of certain exhibits into evidence, (4) the validity of a conviction for 'armed kidnapping,' and (5) the legality of consecutive sentences.

ISSUE I. Sufficiency of the Evidence.

On appeal, we do not reweigh the evidence or the credibility of the witnesses but look only to the evidence supportive of the verdict and reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom, to see if there is evidence of probative value to establish each element of the offense charged. Foster v. State (1974), Ind., 320 N.E.2d 745; Jethroe v. State (1974), Ind., 319 N.E.2d 133; Kimble v. State, (1974), Ind., 319 N.E.2d 140; Conrad v. State (1974), Ind., 317 N.E.2d 789.

The evidence, together with the inferences fairly to be drawn therefrom, disclose that the defendant, together with Thurman Nichols, Larry Coleman, James Watkins, and Alphonso Tarver participated in the robbery of the Shamrock Liquor Store, owned and operated by Michael Marra, in Clark County, Indiana.

The robbery was planned by Larry Coleman and Tarver but carried out by the four persons above named and the defendant. Tarver obtained a stolen automobile, and Nichols borrowed one. The five proceeded in the two automobiles to a drive-in restaurant near the liquor store. Larry Coleman remained in the stolen automobile at the restaurant, while the others proceeded to the Shamrock in the second automobile.

Defendant and Watkins, each armed with .38 caliber revolvers entered the store first and Nichols, armed with a [264 Ind. 66] .410 gauge sawed-off shotgun followed a few minutes later. Marra, the owner, and his mother-in-law were the only persons in the store when the robbery occurred. After announcing their purpose and exhibiting their weapons, the bandits took a large sum of money from the premises. Neither Marra nor his mother-in-law resisted. They were taken to a rear room, and their hands were taped together by the bandits, who left with the warning that Marra was not to come out or they would 'blow his head off.'

Minutes after the defendant and his accomplices left the Shamrock, Marra freed himself and notified the police. Meanwhile, the robbers returned to the restaurant, rejoined Larry Coleman, and the five departed in the stolen vehicle. For reasons not disclosed, they appeared suspicious to two police officers who had been alerted. The policemen signaled for them to stop, and they responded by driving to the

Page 54

shoulder of the road and slowing to a near stop. Just before stopping, however, they returned to the roadway and sped away. As they did so, the defendant fired his .38 caliber pistol at the police car. The police pursued, and the bandits stopped after driving a short distance. The five fugitives spilled out of the vehicle and fired their guns at the police, one of whom was hit by bullet fragments. Defendant and his companions escaped for the time being, and neither of the police officers were able to identify any of them.

The 'shoot out' occurred twenty to twenty-five minutes following the robbery, and a few minutes following the 'shoot out' the defendant entered the home of the Robinsons, who lived a few blocks away, and threatened to shoot them if they did not cooperate. He held the Robinsons and their two small children at gunpoint and announced that after dark he would take their fifteen year old daughter, who was then at school, as hostage and drive to Louisville, Kentucky, a few miles away. Fearing for the safety of their daughter and also for what might happen to the younger children in the interim, Mr. Robinson volunteered to drive the defendant to Louisville immediately, and the defendant agreed.

[264 Ind. 67] Mr. Robinson left the house to start his automobile, the defendant followed and brought the Robinsons' five year old son with him at gunpoint. Mr. Robinson then drove the defendant to Louisville with the child on the back seat and the defendant on the floor of the back seat compartment with his gun pointed at the boy.

Defendant was convicted and sentenced for the following offenses:

(a) Automobile banditry. Ind.Code 35--12--2--1, Burns 10--4710.

(b) Assault or assault and battery with intent to kill. Ind.Code 35--13--2--1, Burns 10--401a.

(c) Robbery while armed with a deadly weapon. Ind.Code 35--12--1--1, Burns 10--4709.

(d) Kidnapping while armed with a deadly weapon. Ind.Code 35--12--1--1, Burns 10--4709.

(e) Kidnapping. Ind.Code 35--1--55--1, Burns 10--2901.

With reference to convictions (a)(b) and (c), the defendant asserts that the evidence was insufficient in that neither Marra nor his mother-in-law were able to identify him and that the only evidence identifying him as one of the participants was the testimony of Nichols, an accomplice, who gave State's evidence in return for a dismissal, as to him, of two charges and a suspended sentence upon a guilty plea to a third charge. The defendant's criticism of the evidence is thus addressed to its quality rather than to its quantity.

It is settled that an accused may be convicted upon the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice. Black v. State (1973), Ind., 304 N.E.2d 781; Stone v. State (1972), 258 Ind. 435, 281 N.E.2d 799. That Nichols' testimony was induced by a benefit extended to him by the State goes only to its weight, not to its competency. Foster v. State, supra; Jethroe v. State, supra; Kimble v. State, supra; Conrad v. State, supra.

As to convictions (d) and (e), the thrust of the defendant's argument of insufficiency is (1) that it was Mr. Robinson, [264 Ind. 68] rather than himself, who suggested that he drive the defendant to Louisville and (2) that Mrs....

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62 practice notes
  • Woods v. State, No. 885
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • November 28, 1989
    ...has been induced to testify by a benefit extended to him by the state goes only to weight and credibility. Coleman v. State (1975), 264 Ind. 64, 339 N.E.2d 51. Here, the general rule applies to sustain the court's ruling that the witness should be permitted to testify. The testimony of Sloa......
  • Bruce v. State, Nos. 1075
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • April 19, 1978
    ...there is no rule of law requiring introduction of the car itself. As to the chain of custody, we said in Coleman v. State, (1975) 264 Ind. 64, 69-70, 339 N.E.2d 51, 55, "(T)he chain of [268 Ind. 243] custody rule applies with diminishing strictness as the exhibits concerned become decreasin......
  • State v. Hanna, No. 17238
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • February 17, 1989
    ...334 P.2d 581 (1959); People v. Abbott, 690 P.2d 1263 (Colo.1984); Stowers v. State, 266 Ind. 403, 363 N.E.2d 978 (1977); Coleman v. State, 264 Ind. 64, 339 N.E.2d 51 (1975). By the same token, consent of the victim is not a defense to a charge of kidnapping or abduction where such consent i......
  • State v. Vance, No. 14119
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • January 22, 1980
    ...grounds, 408 U.S. 938, 92 S.Ct. 2868, 33 L.Ed.2d 758 (1972); People v. Mentola, 47 Ill.2d 579, 268 N.E.2d 8 (1971); Coleman v. State, 264 Ind. 64, 339 N.E.2d 51 (1975); State v. Sawyer, 314 A.2d 830 (Me.1974); Commonwealth v. DeBrosky, 363 Mass. 718, 297 N.E.2d 496 (1973); People v. Barron,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
62 cases
  • Woods v. State, No. 885
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • November 28, 1989
    ...has been induced to testify by a benefit extended to him by the state goes only to weight and credibility. Coleman v. State (1975), 264 Ind. 64, 339 N.E.2d 51. Here, the general rule applies to sustain the court's ruling that the witness should be permitted to testify. The testimony of Sloa......
  • Bruce v. State, Nos. 1075
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • April 19, 1978
    ...there is no rule of law requiring introduction of the car itself. As to the chain of custody, we said in Coleman v. State, (1975) 264 Ind. 64, 69-70, 339 N.E.2d 51, 55, "(T)he chain of [268 Ind. 243] custody rule applies with diminishing strictness as the exhibits concerned become decreasin......
  • State v. Hanna, No. 17238
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • February 17, 1989
    ...334 P.2d 581 (1959); People v. Abbott, 690 P.2d 1263 (Colo.1984); Stowers v. State, 266 Ind. 403, 363 N.E.2d 978 (1977); Coleman v. State, 264 Ind. 64, 339 N.E.2d 51 (1975). By the same token, consent of the victim is not a defense to a charge of kidnapping or abduction where such consent i......
  • State v. Vance, No. 14119
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • January 22, 1980
    ...grounds, 408 U.S. 938, 92 S.Ct. 2868, 33 L.Ed.2d 758 (1972); People v. Mentola, 47 Ill.2d 579, 268 N.E.2d 8 (1971); Coleman v. State, 264 Ind. 64, 339 N.E.2d 51 (1975); State v. Sawyer, 314 A.2d 830 (Me.1974); Commonwealth v. DeBrosky, 363 Mass. 718, 297 N.E.2d 496 (1973); People v. Barron,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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