Love v. State, 031419 INCA, 18A-CR-1410

Docket Nº:18A-CR-1410
Opinion Judge:Robb, Judge.
Party Name:Jaquisha Love, Appellant-Defendant, v. State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
Attorney:Attorney for Appellant Darren Bedwell Marion County Public Defender Indianapolis, Indiana Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Justin F. Roebel Supervising Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana
Judge Panel:Baker, J., and Altice, J., concur.
Case Date:March 14, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of Indiana

Jaquisha Love, Appellant-Defendant,


State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

No. 18A-CR-1410

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 14, 2019

Pursuant to Ind. Appellate Rule 65(D), this Memorandum Decision shall not be regarded as precedent or cited before any court except for the purpose of establishing the defense of res judicata, collateral estoppel, or the law of the case.

Appeal from the Marion Superior Court Trial Court Cause No. 49G06-1608-MR-31799 The Honorable Mark D. Stoner, Judge

Attorney for Appellant Darren Bedwell Marion County Public Defender Indianapolis, Indiana

Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Justin F. Roebel Supervising Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana


Robb, Judge.

Case Summary and Issues

[¶1] Following a jury trial, Jaquisha Love was convicted of the murder of Dayron Staten, and the attempted murders of Anya West, Valencia Standberry, Mark May, Antonio Turner, and Antonio Trotter, as well as armed robbery and carrying a handgun without a license. The trial court sentenced Love to an aggregate sentence of 130 years in the Indiana Department of Correction. This case presents two issues for our review: (1) whether Love's attempted murder convictions are supported by sufficient evidence that Love had the specific intent to kill West, May, Turner, and Trotter; and (2) whether Love's sentence is inappropriate in light of her character and the nature of the offenses. Concluding there is sufficient evidence to support Love's attempted murder convictions and her sentence is not inappropriate in light of her character and the nature of the offenses, we affirm.

Facts and Procedural History1

[¶2]On the night of July 18 and early morning of July 19, 2016, officers of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department ("IMPD") responded to four scenes resulting from a crime spree involving Zion Smith and Love. First, the two robbed West at gunpoint and Smith fired several shots at West as she ran away. Second, Love arranged a meeting to discuss a trade with Staten, who indicated he was selling a handgun. About an hour after the first incident, police found a car with Staten dead in the front driver's seat and Standberry in the front passenger seat bleeding from a gunshot wound. Several hours later, Love and an unidentified man showed up at May's home. May, Turner, and Trotter were all shot but survived their injuries. When May shot at the male shooter, the shooter fled the scene. Lastly, after the home invasion, police were called to a home where they found Smith and Love, with Smith suffering from a gunshot wound to the eye. Each incident is discussed in greater detail below.

Gale Street Shooting of Anya West

[¶3]On the evening of July 18, Smith and Love were at Tamara Johnson's house on East 12th Street in Indianapolis. Johnson's daughter, Makayla, was Smith's girlfriend. After dark, the two left to meet with West to "hang out[.]" Transcript, Volume II at 234. West was a close friend of Love's and the two had just started talking again after a disagreement. In fact, West's contact information in Love's phone was labeled "Ex Friend" on July 5, but that was later deleted and replaced by West's nickname, "Veego." Exhibits, Vol. 3 at 6; Tr., Vol. II at 231. Smith and Love met West at Brookside Park and they walked to West's house, three or four blocks away. While walking and discussing the plans for the night, Love asked West to get her .22 caliber handgun. Upon arriving at West's house, Love and Smith waited outside while West went inside to change clothes and retrieve her gun.

[¶4] Love, Smith, and West then began to "walk the neighborhood like [they] usually do" and headed back toward the park. Tr., Vol. II at 241. While walking up Gale Street, Smith told West he had a .45 caliber handgun for sale and the two exchanged their guns as if they were "playing show and tell[.]" Id. at 242. West thought Smith was "playing around" with the gun and he fired a shot at West's foot. Id. As the two went to trade their guns back, Smith "snatched [West's] gun out of [her] hand[, ]" pointed the gun at West's head, and told her that "it was his gun now." Id. at 243-44. West asked Love whether she was "going to let him rob [her] like that?" Id. at 244. Love responded that "it ain't got nothing to do with [me]." Id. At that point, Smith still had the gun pointed at West's head and threatened to shoot her. Smith then directed Love to check West's pockets. Love complied and found "Sweet Tart xannies[, ]" which are Xanax pills shaped like Sweet Tart candy. Id. at 245. West pushed Love away and ran through the opening of a fence, into her backyard, and to the front door of her house. As West was running, Smith fired three or four shots at her with the .45 caliber handgun, resulting in a bullet hole in her shirt and jacket. Police received two 911 calls at 10:55 p.m. and 10:57 p.m. about the shooting.

[¶5] West remained in her home for ten to fifteen minutes. She was angry and quarreled with a housemate, so she decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood. During her walk, she saw Love and Smith walking up the street, so she hid on a nearby front porch until they passed. Love and Smith were both carrying guns and headed toward LaSalle Street. West believed Love was carrying her .22 caliber handgun.

Robson Street Shooting of Dayron Staten and Valencia Standberry

[¶6] The same evening, Staten sent out text messages and photos indicating that he was attempting to sell a 9mm handgun. See Exhibits, Vol. 3 at 32-35. Love called Staten to arrange a meeting to discuss a "trade[.]" Tr., Vol. III at 243. Staten had been friends with Smith and Love. Staten and Love had been close friends and Love was identified in Staten's phone as "Sis," Exhibits, Vol. 3 at 22, but the two had a "fall out" weeks earlier and were not speaking.[2] Tr., Vol. III at 204, 219.

[¶7] Staten, his girlfriend Standberry, and his friend Jevon Butler left Staten's house on Tuxedo Street and drove to Dearborn Street to meet Smith and Love. However, Love and Smith were not there when they arrived. Staten called Love and she told him to meet them on Olney Street. Staten, Standberry, and Butler went to Olney Street, but Love and Smith failed to arrive, so they returned to the house on Tuxedo Street.

[¶8] Staten and Love then exchanged a series of text messages. At 11:42 p.m., Staten sent Love a text asking "We're [sic] u at[.]" Exhibits, Vol. 3 at 14. At 11:54 p.m., Love texted Staten, "Where u at[, ]" and Staten replied, "I'm at the crib[.]" Id. Staten and Standberry then left the house to go "around the corner to go do a tradeoff." Tr., Vol. III at 244. Phone records indicate that Love called Staten at 11:55 p.m. and 12:01 a.m. See Exhibits, Vol. 3 at 20. At 12:08 a.m. and 12:14 a.m. on July 19, police received 911 calls about a suspicious vehicle and shots fired at the intersection of Robson Street and LaSalle Street. Police arrived at the scene to find Standberry's red Kia Rio in the street with the lights on and rear driver's side door open. Police found Staten dead in the front driver's seat and Standberry in the front passenger seat bleeding from a gunshot wound to her neck.

[¶9] Staten had three gunshot wounds, one in the chest and two to his head and neck. An expert testified at trial that bullet fragments recovered from Staten's autopsy were fired from a 9mm handgun. See Tr., Vol. VI at 84. Standberry had been shot four times, but ultimately survived. She was shot in the neck, arm, hand, and mouth. The bullet that went through her neck also went through her spine. As a result, she was in a coma for a period of time and is now a paraplegic with no feeling from the waist down. She testified at trial but has no memory of the day of the shooting.

[¶10] When the medics removed Standberry from the vehicle, a .40 caliber Arms CM40 handgun fell out of the passenger side door. Officers found five spent casings outside of the vehicle and three fired casings inside the vehicle, as well as metal fragments. A firearms examiner concluded that four of the casings were from a .22 caliber Winchester Super X rounds, long or long rifle cartridges, and were all fired from the same firearm. The other four shell casings were fired from the 9mm handgun, which was later recovered at the Wallace Avenue scene. Smith's palm print was identified on the driver's rear door frame. Tr., Vol. IV at 93. Standberry testified that she had only briefly met Smith and Love once before July 2016 when she drove to Staten's friend's house to pick Staten up. At that time, neither Smith nor Love ever came near or got into her vehicle.

Wallace Avenue Shooting of Mark May, Antonio Turner, and Antonio Trotter

[¶11] At 3:35 a.m., 911...

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