Hickman v. State

Decision Date26 July 1995
Docket NumberNo. 34A04-9405-CR-201,34A04-9405-CR-201
Citation654 N.E.2d 278
PartiesTroy J. HICKMAN, Appellant-Defendant, v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
CourtIndiana Appellate Court

Merrill W. Otterman, Deputy Howard County Public Defender, Kokomo, for appellant.

Pamela Carter, Atty. Gen., Preston W. Black, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

RILEY, Judge.


Defendant-Appellant Troy J. Hickman appeals from his convictions of robbery, a Class We affirm.

                A felony; 1  attempted robbery, a Class A felony; 2  and conspiracy to commit burglary, a Class B felony. 3

Hickman presents two issues for our review, which we re-state as follows:

1. Whether the trial court properly admitted Hickman's taped confession into evidence.

2. Whether the State presented sufficient evidence to establish the corpus delecti for attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit burglary.


The victims in this case are 77-year-old Delores Wagner and her 66-year-old sister, Rosemary Wagner. Delores and Rosemary resided together at 1609 North Webster Street in Kokomo, Indiana. During the evening of September 27, 1993, a young man rang the victims' doorbell. Delores answered the door and the young man asked to use her telephone because his car had broken down. Delores let the man in and led him to the telephone. After the man dialed a number several times, Rosemary became suspicious and offered to dial the number for him so that he could return to his car. As Rosemary accompanied him to the door, he grabbed her by the throat, threatened her with a knife and demanded her money. When Rosemary began screaming, he pushed her down and beat her until she lost consciousness.

Upon regaining consciousness, Rosemary managed to summon the police by calling 911. Minutes later paramedics and Kokomo police officers arrived on the scene finding Delores unconscious and bleeding profusely. Delores sustained severe head injuries, lacerations to the neck and forehead, and her right ear was partially severed. Rosemary sustained stab wounds above and below her right eye, face, forearm and ear, severe facial injuries, and her right middle finger was partially severed. The victims were immediately transported to St. Joseph Hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital, it was discovered that both victims had sustained fractured skulls.

Rosemary's billfold and an undetermined amount of money were taken from the home. Neither victim was able to positively identify the attacker; however, they both stated that he wore a hat and dark clothing.

The evidence adduced at trial, including Hickman's taped confession, reveals that on September 27, 1993, Hickman, together with his brother Ronnie Hickman and a friend Chris Hamblin, decided to gain entry into the victims' home to steal money. The three agreed that Chris would knock on the door and if somebody was home he would ask to use the phone. Ronnie was posted as a lookout in the nearby alley. Hickman entered the victims' home after Chris, and after the victims became suspicious, Chris and Hickman began pushing, punching, kicking and cutting the victims. Chris took money from a purse, and the three teens fled from the scene.

On November 8, 1993, Hickman was charged by information with two counts of robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit burglary. Juvenile jurisdiction was automatically waived and Hickman was tried as an adult. The jury found Hickman guilty of attempted robbery, as a lesser included offense, robbery and conspiracy to commit burglary. Hickman was sentenced to 50 years incarceration. He appeals.

I. Admissibility of Confession

Hickman challenges the admissibility of his statements made during custodial police interrogation on two grounds. First, he contends that he was denied an opportunity for meaningful consultation with his parents, and second he contends that he did not knowingly and voluntarily waive his rights. Hickman filed a pretrial motion to suppress his confession, which the trial court denied.

When reviewing the denial of a motion to suppress a confession, we do not reweigh the evidence. Rather, we consider all uncontroverted evidence together with any conflicting evidence that supports the trial court's decision. Buie v. State (1994), Ind., 633 N.E.2d 250, 256, reh'g denied. We will not disturb the trial court's ruling if there is substantial evidence of probative value from which the trial court could reasonably have concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that the confession and waiver of rights were freely and voluntarily made. Grimm v. State (1990), Ind., 556 N.E.2d 1327, 1330. The burden rests on the State to show beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived his rights under Miranda. 4 Id. We now turn to the two arguments raised by the defendant.

A. Meaningful Consultation

Hickman first contends that his confession was erroneously admitted into evidence because he was denied the opportunity of meaningful consultation with his father.

The requirements for the waiver of constitutional rights of a child have been codified by our legislature in I.C. 31-6-7-3 (1988). The statute provides in pertinent part as follows:

(a) Any rights guaranteed to the child under the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of Indiana, or any other law may be waived only:

(1) by counsel retained or appointed to represent the child, if the child knowingly and voluntarily joins with the waiver; or

(2) by the child's custodial parent, guardian, custodian, or guardian ad litem if:

(A) that person knowingly and voluntarily waives the right;

(B) that person has no interest adverse to the child;

(C) meaningful consultation has occurred between that person and the child; and

(D) the child knowingly and voluntarily joins with the waiver.

(b) The child may waive his right to meaningful consultation under subdivision (a)(2)(C) if he is informed of that right, if his waiver is made in the presence of his custodial parent, guardian, custodian, guardian ad litem, or attorney, and if the waiver is made knowingly and voluntarily.

I.C. 31-6-1-2 (1988) defines "child" as a person under eighteen years of age. The taped confession at issue was taken on October 7, 1993, at which time Hickman was two months away from his eighteenth birthday. Thus, pursuant to I.C. 31-6-1-2, Hickman was a "child" at the time of the confession and entitled to the protections provided to children under our juvenile code.

The meaningful consultation requirement of I.C. 31-6-7-3 is an added protection afforded only to juveniles. Foster v. State (1994), Ind.App., 633 N.E.2d 337, 347, trans. denied. This additional safeguard applicable to juvenile waivers may be satisfied by "actual consultation of a meaningful nature or by the express opportunity for such consultation, which is then forsaken in the presence of the proper authority by the juvenile, so long as the juvenile knowingly and voluntarily waives his constitutional rights." Id. at 347 (citing Williams v. State (1982), Ind., 433 N.E.2d 769, 772). We require strict compliance with the statute in order to protect the juvenile's rights. Foster, 633 N.E.2d at 347 (citing Deckard v. State (1981), Ind.App., 425 N.E.2d 256, 257). The State bears the burden of proving that meaningful consultation has occurred or that the opportunity of meaningful consultation has been afforded. Foster, 633 N.E.2d at 347; Callahan v. State (1988), Ind., 527 N.E.2d 1133, 1138.

During early October, 1993, prior to the time that formal charges were filed, Hickman was picked up for questioning several times by various members of the Kokomo Police Department. Prior to each interrogation Hickman's father and/or step-mother were brought to the police station. The record reflects that Hickman and his father signed a juvenile interrogation advise of rights form The statement at issue was taken on October 7, 1993. It is undisputed that prior to questioning, the advise of rights and waiver form was read to both Hickman and his father and signed by them both at approximately 4:30 p.m. Following the waiver of rights, Hickman was interrogated by Kokomo Police Officer Shawn Kinney until approximately 7:15 p.m. During Officer Kinney's interview, Hickman's father left the station house. He returned at around 7:15 p.m. with dinner for his son. Hickman was permitted time to eat before interviewing resumed. Kokomo Police Officer Larkin Fourkiller and Captain Michael Holsapple interviewed Hickman from approximately 7:40 p.m. until approximately 11:30 p.m. At approximately 11:30 p.m., Hickman gave a taped statement admitting his involvement in the crimes charged and implicating his co-conspirators.

and waiver of rights on October 3, 1993, October 6, 1993, and October 7, 1993. The record further reveals that Hickman's step-mother signed a consent to search advise of rights form on October 7, 1993.

Our review of the record reveals that neither Hickman nor his father at any time during the interview process invoked any rights, indicated that they wanted the questioning to stop, or requested an attorney. In fact, Officer Fourkiller testified that he asked Hickman several times if he wanted to terminate the interview, and Hickman insisted that he wanted to talk. Additionally, although Hickman's father was not in the interrogation room every moment during the evening, Hickman's father and step-mother were in the interrogation room the entire time Hickman gave the taped statement. At one point when Hickman's father was not present in the room and Hickman requested to speak to his father, Captain Holsapple brought Hickman's father to the room to confer with his son in private. Hickman and his father were permitted to engage in three additional private consultations during the course of the interview.

Based on the evidence adduced at the motion to suppress hearing and at trial, we conclude that the...

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  • Trowbridge v. State
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    ...desire to terminate the session. Only juveniles have the added statutory protection of a "meaningful consultation." Hickman v. State, 654 N.E.2d 278, 281 (Ind.Ct.App.1995) (citing Foster v. State, 633 N.E.2d 337, 347 (Ind.Ct.App. 1994)), trans. denied. The requirement may be satisfied by "a......
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    ...elements of corpus delicti, would constitute proof of the whole crime and would eliminate the value of confessions." Hickman v. State, 654 N.E.2d 278, 283 (Ind.Ct.App.1995). Thus, even if Wilkerson had been tried separately, it cannot be said that there would have been insufficient evidence......
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