Ingram v. State, No. 4-883A278

Docket NºNo. 4-883A278
Citation463 N.E.2d 483
Case DateMay 14, 1984
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Page 483

463 N.E.2d 483
Randy L. INGRAM, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
No. 4-883A278.
Court of Appeals of Indiana,
Fourth District.
May 14, 1984.

Page 484

Aaron E. Haith, Choate Visher & Haith, Indianapolis, for appellant-defendant.

Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen., Kathleen Ransom Radford, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee-plaintiff.

CONOVER, Presiding Judge.

Defendant-appellant Randy Ingram (Ingram) appeals his jury convictions for Robbery, a Class C felony, IND.CODE 35-42-5-1 and Resisting Law Enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor, IND.CODE 35-44-3-3(a)(3).

We affirm.

ISSUES

Ingram raises these issues:

Page 485

1. Did the trial court err in allowing leading questions during the direct examination of the State's chief witness, Arnold?

2. Did the trial court commit fundamental error by failing sua sponte to hold a competency hearing to determine whether Arnold was competent to testify?

3. Is Ingram entitled to a new trial based on newly discovered evidence?

4. Did the trial court sufficiently explain its reasons for increasing Ingram's sentence for robbery?

FACTS

Following an argument, Ingram forcibly took bus tickets from Dennis Arnold (Arnold) whom Ingram claimed owed him money. Ingram immediately ran into a nearby alley. Arnold called for help, and a police officer chased Ingram. He stopped only after the officer threatened to shoot him. Arnold was 18 years old and enrolled in special education classes at the time of trial.

Ingram was sentenced to six years imprisonment for robbery and one year for resisting law enforcement.

DISCUSSION AND DECISION

I. Leading Questions

Ingram contends the trial court abused its discretion in allowing leading questions in the State's direct examination of Arnold. We disagree.

A trial court is given wide discretion to allow leading questions. Hedges v. State, (1982) Ind., 443 N.E.2d 62, 66. Reversible error will be found only upon a showing of abuse of discretion. King v. State, (1984) Ind., 460 N.E.2d 947 at 950-51; Bell v. State, (1977) 267 Ind. 1, 3, 366 N.E.2d 1156, 1158; Siblisk v. State, (1975) 263 Ind. 651, 655, 336 N.E.2d 650, 652. Leading questions on direct examination may be proper where the witness is a young child or a weak-minded adult. See McCormick Handbook of the Law of Evidence, (2nd ed. 1972) Sec. 6, p. 10; accord, Johnson v. State, (1977) 265 Ind. 689, 699, 359 N.E.2d 525, 532. Leading questions in such cases are permissible if they are carefully phrased to elicit coherent testimony and do not control the substance of testimony. See, Borosh v. State, (1975) 166 Ind.App. 378, 383, 336 N.E.2d 409, 412.

Arnold was a special education student at the time of trial. The prosecutor's leading questions referred to Arnold's background and his relationship with Ingram. They were phrased to allow Arnold to testify coherently. They did not control the substance of Arnold's testimony. He aptly narrated the events surrounding the robbery without suggestion by the prosecutor. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by permitting the State to use leading questions.

Ingram also suggests his right to cross-examination was unduly burdened because of the leading questions. This contention is not supported by cogent argument or citation of relevant authority. It is thereby waived. Guardiola v. State, (1978) 268 Ind. 404, 405-06, 375 N.E.2d 1105, 1107; Platt v. State, (1976) 168 Ind.App. 55, 58, 341 N.E.2d 219, 221.

II. Fundamental Error

Ingram next contends the trial court committed fundamental error by not holding a competency hearing sua sponte. We disagree.

a. Elements of the Doctrine

The fundamental error doctrine allows this court to consider the merits of an alleged error not properly preserved for appeal. Blackmon v. State, (1983) Ind., 455 N.E.2d 586, 590; Rowley v. State, (1982) Ind., 442 N.E.2d 343, 345; Williams v. State, (1983) Ind.App., 451 N.E.2d 687, 688. Before a court on appeal may consider such error, it must first make several inquiries. They include whether error appears plainly on the fact of the record, and whether the error was of such magnitude as to deny the defendant due process. Rowley, supra, 442 N.E.2d at 345; Williams, supra, 451 N.E.2d at 688. For the defendant to be denied due process the proceedings viewed as a whole must be devoid of any indicia of fairness. Williams, supra, 451 N.E.2d at 688-89 quoting

Page 486

Thomas v. State, (1982) Ind.App., 442 N.E.2d 700, 701. Finally, the alleged error must have resulted from the mistake or misconduct of the trial judge in the exercise of his own affirmative duties. Muday v. State, (1983) Ind.App., 455 N.E.2d 984, 988; Williams, supra, 451 N.E.2d at 689; quoting Thomas v. State, (1982) Ind.App., 442 N.E.2d 700, 701; Pedigo v. State, (1980) Ind.App., 412 N.E.2d 132, 136. 1

Unlike instructing a jury on the basic elements of a criminal offense, or advising defendants of their rights under our guilty plea statute, the trial judge is not required to act sua sponte in the area of witness competency. The trial judge must conduct a competency hearing only after the...

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7 practice notes
  • State v. Johnston, No. 24850-0-III.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • October 25, 2007
    ...generally treated as an issue of due process. See, e.g., State v. Watkins, 71 Wash.App. 164, 170, 857 P.2d 300 (1993); Ingram v. State, 463 N.E.2d 483, 485 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND GRANTING MOTION TO PUBLISH JOHN A. SCHULTHEIS, Acting Chief Judge. The court has considere......
  • Hossman v. State, No. 4-684A155
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 12, 1985
    ...review them as fundamental error and reverse. See Blackmon v. State (1983), Ind., 455 N.E.2d 586, 590; Ingram v. State (1984), Ind.App., 463 N.E.2d 483, 485, also see Dooley v. State (1979) 271 Ind. 404, 408, 393 N.E.2d 154, 156, where a prosecutor by inference points out to a jury the defe......
  • Williams v. State, No. 48S00-9808-CR-471.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • August 18, 2000
    ...246 Ind. 374, 379, 205 N.E.2d 148, 151 (1965); Stallings v. State, 232 Ind. 646, 648, 114 N.E.2d 771, 772-73 (1953); Ingram v. State, 463 N.E.2d 483, 485 (Ind.Ct. App.1984). The use of leading questions is limited in order to prevent the substitution of the language of the attorney for the ......
  • Wilke v. State, No. 1-1085A258
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • August 20, 1986
    ...addressing it in her amended appellant's brief, we will not reverse unless fundamental error occurred. Ingram v. State (1984), Ind.App., 463 N.E.2d 483. Our supreme court has said that to constitute fundamental error, "the error must constitute a clearly blatant violation of basic and eleme......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • State v. Johnston, No. 24850-0-III.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • October 25, 2007
    ...generally treated as an issue of due process. See, e.g., State v. Watkins, 71 Wash.App. 164, 170, 857 P.2d 300 (1993); Ingram v. State, 463 N.E.2d 483, 485 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND GRANTING MOTION TO PUBLISH JOHN A. SCHULTHEIS, Acting Chief Judge. The court has considere......
  • Hossman v. State, No. 4-684A155
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 12, 1985
    ...review them as fundamental error and reverse. See Blackmon v. State (1983), Ind., 455 N.E.2d 586, 590; Ingram v. State (1984), Ind.App., 463 N.E.2d 483, 485, also see Dooley v. State (1979) 271 Ind. 404, 408, 393 N.E.2d 154, 156, where a prosecutor by inference points out to a jury the defe......
  • Williams v. State, No. 48S00-9808-CR-471.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • August 18, 2000
    ...246 Ind. 374, 379, 205 N.E.2d 148, 151 (1965); Stallings v. State, 232 Ind. 646, 648, 114 N.E.2d 771, 772-73 (1953); Ingram v. State, 463 N.E.2d 483, 485 (Ind.Ct. App.1984). The use of leading questions is limited in order to prevent the substitution of the language of the attorney for the ......
  • Wilke v. State, No. 1-1085A258
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • August 20, 1986
    ...addressing it in her amended appellant's brief, we will not reverse unless fundamental error occurred. Ingram v. State (1984), Ind.App., 463 N.E.2d 483. Our supreme court has said that to constitute fundamental error, "the error must constitute a clearly blatant violation of basic and eleme......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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