Johnson v. State, No. 582

Docket NºNo. 582
Citation455 N.E.2d 932
Case DateNovember 17, 1983
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 932

455 N.E.2d 932
Teresa A. JOHNSON, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 582 S 171.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
Nov. 17, 1983.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 17, 1984.

Page 934

Matthew F. Purol, Greenfield, for appellant.

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

PIVARNIK, Justice.

Defendant-Appellant Teresa A. Johnson was found guilty by the Marion Superior Court of two counts of class A felony attempted murder. She subsequently was sentenced to concurrent terms of thirty years imprisonment for each conviction. Appellant now directly appeals and raises the following six issues for our review:

1. accepting Appellant's waiver of trial by jury;

2. overruling Appellant's Motion to Quash;

3. sufficiency of the evidence;

4. failure to entertain Appellant's intoxication defense;

5. sentencing on separate counts; and

6. sentencing to manifestly unreasonable terms of imprisonment.

The facts show that the instant crimes occurred between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. on July 16, 1981. Jackie Gordon and Sherry Sherrod, both approximately eighteen years of age, had left Sherry's place of employment and were enroute to a health spa. While driving along 37th Street in Indianapolis, they observed a white Monte Carlo automobile in front of them being driven by Appellant. Said automobile was also occupied by Appellant's brother and young son. Appellant slowed down and speeded up several times before finally stopping at an intersection where she remained for several minutes. Jackie got out of her car and walked to Appellant's car to determine if she needed assistance. Appellant's brother replied to Jackie's inquiry saying: "Dumb nigger can't you understand English?" Appellant thereupon stepped out of her car and walked towards Jackie's car where she used foul language and made racial slurs against the two women before ordering them to leave. As Jackie attempted to get back into her car, Appellant shoved her thereby precipitating a fight. Appellant's brother yelled racial slurs at the women as they fought with Appellant. Appellant eventually returned to her car which she turned around and drove by the women to shout more insults at them. Sue Clemens, a nearby resident, witnessed the fight and telephoned the police. Sherry had written down the license number of Appellant's automobile which she gave to the police. The police advised the women to file charges at the prosecutor's office.

Since Jackie's keys had been lost in the melee, Jackie and Sherry began searching the area near Jackie's car for them. Appellant again approached in her automobile. Jackie testified that Appellant had a mean look on her face and was postured close to the steering wheel. Appellant sped up and drove her car at Jackie knocking Jackie

Page 935

against a fire hydrant and flattening a mailbox. After Appellant struck Jackie, she turned her car towards Sherry and proceeded to hit her. Jackie suffered deep lacerations which totally severed the nerves in her right leg. Jackie's leg subsequently was amputated above the knee. Sherry sustained internal injuries including liver damage and vision problems. Later that afternoon, Appellant stopped at a house located at 38th and Franklin and asked if she could call a tow truck. She would not explain her accident. After the police were called, she left. Appellant then went to a service station and requested help with her flat tire. The police finally arrested Appellant at the gas station. Appellant claims that she and her brother had been drinking alcohol and taking drugs on the day in question and that she was intoxicated and did not know what she was doing. Appellant maintains that she unintentionally drove into the women as her automobile went out of control.
I

Appellant claims that the trial court erred by accepting her waiver of a jury trial. She specifically claims that the Record does not show that she knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived her right to trial by jury. The Record, however, shows that Appellant filed a written waiver of jury trial. It further shows that Appellant was questioned by the trial judge in open court about her waiver. The trial judge explained to Appellant the rights she would have with a jury deciding her case and how a jury trial compares to a bench trial. Appellant thereafter told the trial judge in open court that she did not desire a jury trial and was willing to be tried by the court.

This Court previously has affirmed a bench trial conviction obtained after a defendant waived in writing his jury trial right. Rodgers v. State, (1981) Ind., 415 N.E.2d 57. Appellant now relies on Good v. State, (1977) 267 Ind. 29, 366 N.E.2d 1169, reh. denied, and Cunningham v. State, (1982) Ind.App., 433 N.E.2d 405, to support her argument that her waiver of a jury trial was improperly accepted. Appellant's reliance is misplaced, however, since our reversals in Good and Cunningham were predicated on the fact that the Records in Good and Cunningham were devoid of any personal waiver by those defendants, either in court or in writing. Since Appellant's waiver was made both in writing and in open court after instruction by the court, the trial court properly accepted it. The trial court properly found that Appellant waived her right to a jury trial.

II

Appellant next claims that the trial court erred by denying her Motion to Quash the Information. Appellant was charged with two counts of attempted murder pursuant to Ind.Code Secs. 35-41-5-1 and 35-42-1-1 (Burns 1979). The Information was filed on July 17, 1981. It charged that Appellant "did knowingly and unlawfully Attempt to commit the crime of Murder" rather than using the language of the murder statute which is "knowingly or intentionally " (emphasis added). Appellant now argues that this was a fatal variance and that the Information therefore should have been quashed on her motion....

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50 practice notes
  • State v. Nick R., No. 30,657.
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • September 28, 2009
    ...P.2d 602, 605 (1970) (shoe as deadly weapon); Timm v. State, 644 N.E.2d 1235, 1238-39 (Ind.1994) (plastic flashlight); Johnson v. State, 455 N.E.2d 932, 936 (Ind.1983) (automobile); State v. Kelly, 118 N.J. 370, 571 A.2d 1286, 1292-93 (1990) (carpet-cutting razor); People v. Elijah B., 28 A......
  • Mitchem v. State, No. 71S00-9604-CR-00294
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 5, 1997
    ..."Intent may be inferred from the use of a deadly weapon in a manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm." Johnson v. State, 455 N.E.2d 932, 936 (Ind.1983). "What constitutes a substantial step must be determined from all the circumstances of each case, and the conduct must be strongl......
  • Powell v. State, Supreme Court Case No. 19S-CR-527
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • August 18, 2020
    ...distinction (as the cases cited throughout this opinion illustrate), there are a few exceptions. See, e.g. , Johnson v. State , 455 N.E.2d 932, 937 (Ind. 1983) (explaining that the "test for determining whether or not separate sentences may be imposed" for two counts of attempted murder, on......
  • Hampton v. State, No. 4-1283A414
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • October 4, 1984
    ...crime. An attempt to commit a crime is a felony or misdemeanor of the same class as the crime attempted. Johnson v. State, (1984) Ind., 455 N.E.2d 932, 936; Blow v. State, (1983) Ind., 445 N.E.2d 1369, 1371; Zickefoose v. State, (1979) 270 Ind. 618, 388 N.E.2d 507; Harwei, Inc. v. State, (1......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
50 cases
  • State v. Nick R., No. 30,657.
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • September 28, 2009
    ...P.2d 602, 605 (1970) (shoe as deadly weapon); Timm v. State, 644 N.E.2d 1235, 1238-39 (Ind.1994) (plastic flashlight); Johnson v. State, 455 N.E.2d 932, 936 (Ind.1983) (automobile); State v. Kelly, 118 N.J. 370, 571 A.2d 1286, 1292-93 (1990) (carpet-cutting razor); People v. Elijah B., 28 A......
  • Mitchem v. State, No. 71S00-9604-CR-00294
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 5, 1997
    ..."Intent may be inferred from the use of a deadly weapon in a manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm." Johnson v. State, 455 N.E.2d 932, 936 (Ind.1983). "What constitutes a substantial step must be determined from all the circumstances of each case, and the conduct must be strongl......
  • Powell v. State, Supreme Court Case No. 19S-CR-527
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • August 18, 2020
    ...distinction (as the cases cited throughout this opinion illustrate), there are a few exceptions. See, e.g. , Johnson v. State , 455 N.E.2d 932, 937 (Ind. 1983) (explaining that the "test for determining whether or not separate sentences may be imposed" for two counts of attempted murder, on......
  • Hampton v. State, No. 4-1283A414
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • October 4, 1984
    ...crime. An attempt to commit a crime is a felony or misdemeanor of the same class as the crime attempted. Johnson v. State, (1984) Ind., 455 N.E.2d 932, 936; Blow v. State, (1983) Ind., 445 N.E.2d 1369, 1371; Zickefoose v. State, (1979) 270 Ind. 618, 388 N.E.2d 507; Harwei, Inc. v. State, (1......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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