Parks v. State

Decision Date23 September 1987
Docket NumberNo. 50S00-8608-CR-771,50S00-8608-CR-771
Citation513 N.E.2d 170
PartiesRobert J. PARKS, Jr., Appellant (Defendant below), v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

E. Nelson Chipman, Jr., Plymouth, for appellant.

Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen., Cheryl L. Greiner, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

PIVARNIK, Justice.

Defendant-Appellant, Robert J. Parks, Jr., was convicted by a Marshall County jury of: attempted murder, class A felony; criminal recklessness, class D felony; battery, class D felony; theft, class D felony; possession of stolen property, class D felony; resisting law enforcement, class A misdemeanor; resisting law enforcement, class D felony; driving under the influence, class A misdemeanor; and driving with a suspended license, class A misdemeanor. The trial court sentenced Parks to thirty (30) years imprisonment for attempted murder, two (2) years imprisonment for each class D felony conviction, and one (1) year imprisonment for each class A misdemeanor conviction. The trial court ordered the sentences for the felony convictions to be served consecutively and the sentences for the misdemeanor convictions to be served concurrently. In this direct appeal, Parks raises the following issues for our review:

1. insufficient evidence supporting attempted murder;

2. error in imposing consecutive sentences for the felony convictions; and

3. denial of a directed verdict on count III, battery, a class D felony.

The facts presented to the jury are as follows. Appellant Parks lived at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in South Bend, Indiana. On May 30, 1985 Parks was awarded his General Equivalency Degree (G.E.D.). That night he went drinking to celebrate his accomplishment. At the tavern, Parks met and drank with Charles Czeck.

Czeck gave Parks a ride back to the Center. When Parks got out of the car, he started acting peculiarly. Czeck described his actions as "freaked out," screaming, and acting "weird." Czeck got out of the car to check on Parks and Parks jumped into the car and drove away.

During the early morning hours of May 31, 1985, Indiana State Police Trooper Mark Grose observed a white Pinto automobile weaving and crossing the center line on U.S. 31. Grose pulled the car over and found Parks in the driver's seat. Parks was given a field sobriety test which he failed.

While Grose was securing the Pinto, Parks ran to the police car, entered it and locked the doors. Parks then sped away. Grose radioed for assistance.

Parks drove the police car about 1/4 of a mile before he rolled the car into a ditch. The car landed on its wheels and Parks continued to drive it through a farm field. When the car stopped, Grose gave chase on foot and approached the car from the rear.

Parks was still in the car and did not see Grose approach. Grose pulled his service revolver, placed it next to Parks' head, and ordered him to surrender. At that very instant, Parks pointed the police car shotgun at Grose's midsection. Grose was able to grab the barrel of the shotgun and push it away. Grose heard Parks say "You're dead" while Grose observed and felt Parks pull the trigger of the shotgun. The gun did not fire because the safety was on. Grose then poked Parks in the head with the service revolver and was able to startle Parks enough to grab the shotgun from him.

Grose then removed Parks from the police car. Parks was uncooperative and the two struggled. Grose was able to handcuff Parks but during the struggle, Grose cut and scraped his left hand.


First, Parks claims there was insufficient evidence to support his attempted murder conviction. When sufficiency of the evidence supporting a criminal conviction is challenged on appeal, this Court uses a very narrow standard of review. We neither reweigh the evidence nor judge the credibility of the witnesses. Rather, we look at the evidence most favorable to the State together with all reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom. If there is substantial evidence of probative value from which the jury could have reasonably inferred guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the conviction will be affirmed. Anderson v. State (1984), Ind., 469 N.E.2d 1166, 1169, cert. denied, 469 U.S. 1226, 105 S.Ct. 1220, 84 L.Ed.2d 361; McMillian v. State (1983), Ind., 450 N.E.2d 996, 999.

Parks argues there was no evidence which would indicate he intended to kill Officer Grose. We have held, however, that intent to kill may be inferred from the use of a deadly weapon in a manner reasonably calculated to cause death. Arthur v. State (1986), Ind., 499 N.E.2d 746, 748; McMurry v. State (1984), Ind., 467 N.E.2d 1202, 1204. Intent may also be inferred from the circumstances surrounding the incident in question. Robertson v. State (1982), Ind., 430 N.E.2d 1173, 1175; Chambers v. State (1979), 271 Ind. 357, 365, 392 N.E.2d 1156, 1161.

Here, Parks pointed a loaded shotgun at Officer Grose's midsection. Grose testified he saw and felt Parks pull the trigger. Grose also testified he heard Parks say, "You're dead." We find this sufficient evidence from which the jury could conclude that Parks had formed an intent to kill Grose, and that he took a substantial step toward committing the act of murder.


Next, Parks claims the trial court erred in ordering consecutive sentences for his felony convictions. Parks argues the trial court did not make specific findings which would justify imposing consecutive sentences. Thus, he asks us to remand to the trial court for the purpose of ordering the sentences to be served concurrently.

The imposition of consecutive sentences is within the trial court's discretion. Smith v. State (1986), Ind., 491 N.E.2d 193, 197; Lash v. State (1982), Ind., 433 N.E.2d 764, 765-66; Ind.Code Sec. 35-50-1-2(a) (Burns 1985). A defendant has no constitutional right to have sentences run concurrently. Parks v. State (1986), Ind., 489 N.E.2d 515; Hoskins v. State (1982), Ind., 441 N.E.2d 419. However, when the trial court orders sentences to be served consecutively, the record must disclose the factors the trial court used to justify such an order. Powers v. State (1982), Ind., 440 N.E.2d 1096, 1106, cert. denied, 461 U.S. 906, 103 S.Ct. 1876, 76 L.Ed.2d 808.

Here, the trial court found that consecutive sentences were warranted because not imposing them would demean the seriousness of the offense. The trial court also found that Parks was likely to repeat the offenses if not confined. Both of these factors can be used to justify ordering consecutive sentences. See Ind.Code Sec. 35-38-1-7(b)(4) (Burns 1987); Ind.Code Sec. 35-38-1-7(a)(1) (Burns 1987). Given these findings and the serious nature of the offenses Parks committed, we find the trial court did not err by ordering the felony sentences to be served consecutively.


Finally, Parks claims the trial court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict on count III, battery, a class D felony. The information alleged Parks inflicted bodily injury, to-wit: scrapes, scratches, contusions and pain, on a law enforcement officer. Parks claims the State submitted absolutely no evidence to support this allegation.

A person who knowingly or intentionally touches another person in a rude, insolent, or angry manner commits battery. Ind.Code Sec. 35-42-2-1 (Burns 1987). Battery is a class D felony if it results in bodily injury to a law enforcement officer engaged in the execution of his official duty. Id. Parks claims he should have...

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10 cases
  • Henley v. State
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Indiana
    • February 27, 2008
    ...(Defendant ran from police, turned, and fired a shot which struck an automobile directly behind the police officer.); Parks v. State, 513 N.E.2d 170, 171 (Ind.1987) (Defendant pointed a loaded shotgun at the officer's midsection and said, "You're dead."); Brumbaugh v. State, 491 N.E.2d 983,......
  • Blanche v. State
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Indiana
    • January 29, 1998
    ...intention was also demonstrated by his repeated, though mostly unsuccessful, attempts to fire the gun at Reed. See Parks v. State, 513 N.E.2d 170, 171 (Ind.1987). That Appellant's aiming and shooting the gun directly at Reed was a substantial step toward the killing is Appellant provides no......
  • Armstead v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 7, 1990
    ...with a rifle and later fled by car from several officers. More recently, our supreme court reached a similar decision. In Parks v. State (1987), Ind., 513 N.E.2d 170, the defendant stole a police car and later attempted to use the car's shotgun against an officer. The court upheld his convi......
  • Kemper v. State, 15A01–1408–CR–340.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 17, 2015
    ...Appellant's Br. p. 35. The decision to impose consecutive sentences rests within the discretion of the trial court. Parks v. State, 513 N.E.2d 170, 172 (Ind.1987). A trial court may impose consecutive sentences if warranted by the aggravating circumstances. Monroe v. State, 886 N.E.2d 578, ......
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