Hughes v. State, No. 10A01-8605-CR-116

Docket NºNo. 10A01-8605-CR-116
Citation508 N.E.2d 1289
Case DateJune 08, 1987
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Page 1289

508 N.E.2d 1289
Sheila D. HUGHES, Defendant-Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Plaintiff-Appellee.
No. 10A01-8605-CR-116.
Court of Appeals of Indiana,
First District.
June 8, 1987.
Rehearing Denied July 29, 1987.

Page 1292

Susan K. Carpenter, Public Defender, C.H. Gardner, Deputy Public Defender, Indianapolis, for defendant-appellant.

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

NEAL, Judge.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

Defendant-appellant, Sheila D. Hughes (Hughes), appeals her convictions by a Clark Superior Court jury of neglect of a dependent child under Count I, battery under Count II, and involuntary manslaughter under Count III. Hughes was sentenced to a four-year term of imprisonment on Count I, and eight-year terms on Counts II and III. The sentences on Counts I and III were to be served consecutively, and the sentences on Counts II and III were to be served concurrently, resulting in a total sentence of twelve years.

We affirm and remand with instructions.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

In December 1981, Hughes and her husband Tony received the victim, John Hughes, into their home. Several months later they adopted John, who had been born to Tony's sister. During the following year, several people observed a succession of injuries on John. In May of 1982, a neighbor, Juanita Neal heard John screaming; Hughes explained to her afterwards that she "had beat his little ass" because he had soiled his bed. Record at 1705. At the time, John was less than a year old. Also in May, two of Hughes's fellow church members, Joyce Martin and Tamera Coy, saw Hughes administer what Martin termed a "severe spanking" to John in church. Record at 1737. During the summer of 1982, fellow church member Rodger Coy saw several bruises on John's buttocks through a fold in his diaper. On several other occasions Coy noticed bruises on John's face and once Coy saw that John had, on the back of his head, a soft lump that appeared to contain fluid. Lita Miller, a close friend of Hughes who saw her and John nearly every day from June to October in 1982, observed bruises on John almost continually during this period. The last time Miller saw John, in October 1982, his left arm was in a makeshift sling and he had a "necklace" of bruises around his neck. Record at 1761. When Miller asked Hughes why she had not obtained medical treatment for John's arm, which had swollen to twice its normal size, Hughes replied that she prayed for John and "God would heal him." Record at 1762. Concerned, Miller related the situation to her doctor, who contacted the welfare department. Although the welfare department investigated the allegations of abuse and neglect, no charges were filed. Juanita Neal observed that John usually had bruises on his face because, during meals, Hughes would hold and work John's jaw up and down in an effort to get him to "chew right." Record at 1709. Neal also noticed the imprint of what appeared to be a soap dish on John's buttocks. The various injuries described were also noticed by others who had the opportunity to see John.

On March 29, 1983, Tony Hughes took John to the emergency room of the North Clark Community Hospital. Tony told the nurse there that John had fallen from his crib and struck his head. John's left eye

Page 1293

was fixed and dilated, his color was ashen, and his breathing was rapid and labored, indicating a brain hemorrhage. In the process of treating John, both the nurse, Paula Reekstein, and the physician, Dr. Ibrahim, noticed several bruises in various stages of healing. Given John's serious condition, he was flown by helicopter to Children's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. The emergency-room physician there, Dr. Sandra Johnson, also observed the bruises on John, and noted that they were not located on bony promontories, such as the elbows or forehead, but were in areas of soft tissue, which indicated that they were inflicted by another individual, and not the result of John's bumping into an object. From the emergency room, John underwent surgery to remove the blood clot from his brain. He was then taken to the intensive care unit, where he was treated by Dr. John Algren, who observed the bruises and who later testified that the severity of John's injury was not consistent with a fall from a crib. This opinion was shared by Dr. Henry Garretson, who performed the surgery, and Dr. Penelope Terhune, who treated John in the intensive care unit. John remained comatose and on a life-support system until April 2, 1983, when it was determined that he was brain dead. An autopsy performed by Dr. Alvin Martin revealed that the cause of John's death was the blow to his head. Also, the absence of a corresponding bruise on the side of his brain opposite the blood clot suggested that John's body was not moving at the time of impact.

Because of the death of John, on April 26, 1983, Hughes was charged by Information in Clark Superior Court with neglect of a dependent child, a Class D felony under IND.CODE 35-46-1-4(a)(1), battery, a Class C felony under IND.CODE 35-42-2-1(3), and involuntary manslaughter, a Class C felony under IND.CODE 35-42-1-4. After two continuances granted to the State over Hughes's objections, trial dates of November 29 and December 13, 1983, were set. Because of the State's failure to comply with two discovery orders, the Clark Superior Court entered an order on November 15, 1983, excluding certain State's evidence. Then, on November 18, 1983, the State filed a motion to dismiss the charges on the basis that it had filed the same charges in the Clark Circuit Court. Hughes objected to the dismissal and filed a motion for sanctions, alleging prosecutorial misconduct. On November 28, 1983, the Clark Superior Court granted the State's motion to dismiss and found it no longer had jurisdiction over Hughes's motion for sanctions. Hughes then perfected an interlocutory appeal, which was unsuccessful. See Hughes v. State (1985), Ind.App., 473 N.E.2d 630, trans. denied. Also on November 28, 1983, the Clark Circuit Court held Hughes's initial hearing, set January 29, 1984 as the omnibus date, and scheduled Hughes's trial for February 21, 1984. Hughes's oral motion to transfer the cause back to the Clark Superior Court was denied. On December 5, 1984, Hughes filed a motion to transfer the cause back to the Clark Superior Court, stating that the judge of the Clark Superior Court consented to such transfer. In the alternative, Hughes also filed motions for changes of venue from both the judge and the county. A hearing was scheduled for January 3, 1984. At the hearing, the Clark Circuit Court, noting the consent of the Clark Superior Court, granted transfer of the cause to that court. The next day, January 4, the Clark Superior Court granted the State's motion for a trial date, and scheduled the trial for May 21, 1984. Hughes then filed three motions to dismiss the charges on the basis that her right to a speedy trial was being denied; all three were denied. Plea negotiations having come to naught, Hughes's trial began as scheduled on May 21, 1984.

At the trial, the State presented evidence as related above. In addition, John's older brother James, then eight years old, testified that he had witnessed several incidents of Hughes administering physical punishment to John.

Hughes presented testimony of friends and neighbors that served to deny and refute the State's allegations. Hughes's expert witness, Dr. Kasprisin, testified that John's head injury most likely resulted

Page 1294

from a fall from a crib, as Hughes claimed, and his numerous bruises were consistent with a certain blood disorder. He also testified that the hospital had not documented John's bruises nor tested for the blood disorder, as is the normal procedure in child abuse situations. Finally, Hughes herself testified, denying that she abused or neglected John, and maintaining that his injuries resulted from his own clumsiness.

On June 7, 1984, the jury returned its verdicts, finding Hughes guilty of all three counts. The trial court sentenced Hughes to a twelve-year term of imprisonment as follows: on Count I, neglect of a dependent child, Hughes received the presumptive two-year sentence, plus two years added for aggravating circumstances; and on Counts II and III, battery and involuntary manslaughter respectively, Hughes received the five-year presumptive sentences, with three years added for aggravating circumstances. The sentences on Counts I and III were to run consecutively; the sentence on Count II was to run concurrently with the other two. From the resultant twelve-year term of imprisonment, Hughes instituted this appeal.

ISSUES

Hughes presents the following issues for our review:

I. Was Hughes entitled to discharge under Ind. Rules of Procedure, Criminal Rule 4(C).

II. Was the evidence sufficient to support the convictions.

III. Did the trial court err in allowing unqualified persons to testify as experts.

IV. Did the trial court err in certain evidentiary rulings.

V. Did the trial court err in a pattern of rulings which denied Hughes both the right to confront witnesses and the right to present a defense.

VI. Did Hughes's conviction for neglect of a dependent child constitute double jeopardy.

VII. Did the trial court err by considering Hughes's lack of remorse as an aggravating sentencing factor.

VIII. Did the State commit prosecutorial misconduct.

IX. Did the trial court err, in rulings and acts, in projecting an image of partiality.

X. Did the trial court err in failing to enforce a plea agreement.

DISCUSSION AND DECISION

ISSUE I: Criminal Rule 4(C) Discharge

Hughes contends she was entitled to discharge under Ind. Rules of Procedure, Criminal Rule 4(C), which provides:

"No person shall be held on recognizance or otherwise to answer a criminal charge for a period in aggregate embracing more than one year from the date the...

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25 practice notes
  • Stephenson v. State, No. 87S00-9605-DP-398.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • January 25, 2001
    ..."prior to 2:00 in the morning," (R. at 22,521). Accordingly, we find that Defendant suffered no prejudice. See, e.g., Hughes v. State, 508 N.E.2d 1289, 1296-97 (Ind.Ct.App.1987) (ruling that in light of properly admitted expert opinion testimony by a certified physician concerning the cause......
  • Everroad v. State, No. 03A01-9005-CR-179
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 15, 1991
    ...properly overruled by the trial court. Banks v. State (1980), 273 Ind. 99, 100, 402 N.E.2d 1213, 1214; Hughes v. State (1987), Ind.App., 508 N.E.2d 1289, 1295, trans. The Everroads filed no objection regarding the July 20, 1981, trial date until April 29, 1981. This was more than a month af......
  • Duffitt v. State, No. 48A02-8701-CR-36
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 17, 1988
    ...but noted other aggravating circumstances set forth by the sentencing judge. Similarly, in Hughes v. State (1987) 1st Dist. Ind.App., 508 N.E.2d 1289, trans. denied, other aggravating factors were present in addition to "lack of remorse." Finally, in Linger v. State (1987) 4th Dist. Ind.App......
  • Farrell v. State, No. 79A02-9112-CR-560
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 5, 1993
    ...opinion by Chief Judge Ratliff, the author of Summers, refused to follow the Summers test. Hughes v. State (1987) 1st Dist. Ind.App., 508 N.E.2d 1289, trans. denied. Hughes instead reverted to the traditional standard requiring that the subject matter of the expert testimony be beyond the k......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
25 cases
  • Stephenson v. State, No. 87S00-9605-DP-398.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • January 25, 2001
    ..."prior to 2:00 in the morning," (R. at 22,521). Accordingly, we find that Defendant suffered no prejudice. See, e.g., Hughes v. State, 508 N.E.2d 1289, 1296-97 (Ind.Ct.App.1987) (ruling that in light of properly admitted expert opinion testimony by a certified physician concerning the cause......
  • Everroad v. State, No. 03A01-9005-CR-179
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 15, 1991
    ...properly overruled by the trial court. Banks v. State (1980), 273 Ind. 99, 100, 402 N.E.2d 1213, 1214; Hughes v. State (1987), Ind.App., 508 N.E.2d 1289, 1295, trans. The Everroads filed no objection regarding the July 20, 1981, trial date until April 29, 1981. This was more than a month af......
  • Duffitt v. State, No. 48A02-8701-CR-36
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 17, 1988
    ...but noted other aggravating circumstances set forth by the sentencing judge. Similarly, in Hughes v. State (1987) 1st Dist. Ind.App., 508 N.E.2d 1289, trans. denied, other aggravating factors were present in addition to "lack of remorse." Finally, in Linger v. State (1987) 4th Dist. Ind.App......
  • Farrell v. State, No. 79A02-9112-CR-560
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 5, 1993
    ...opinion by Chief Judge Ratliff, the author of Summers, refused to follow the Summers test. Hughes v. State (1987) 1st Dist. Ind.App., 508 N.E.2d 1289, trans. denied. Hughes instead reverted to the traditional standard requiring that the subject matter of the expert testimony be beyond the k......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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