Roberts v. State, No. 677S416

Docket NºNo. 677S416
Citation268 Ind. 127, 373 N.E.2d 1103
Case DateApril 03, 1978

Page 1103

373 N.E.2d 1103
268 Ind. 127
David J. ROBERTS, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 677S416.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
April 3, 1978.

[268 Ind. 128]

Page 1104

George K. Shields, Indianapolis, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Wesley T. Wilson, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

PIVARNIK, Justice.

Appellant Roberts was convicted of four counts at the conclusion of a jury trial in

Page 1105

Marion Criminal Court on January 13, 1977: first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, and rape. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder and kidnapping counts, and to twenty-one years imprisonment for rape. The crime in question occurred at about 4:00 in the morning of November 14, 1974, when a young woman, driving home with her infant son, was accosted by a gunman at an Indianapolis intersection. The man entered the car and drove away with the woman, eventually raping her twice and leaving her locked in the trunk. Several miles before the woman was left locked in the abandoned car, her child had been left abandoned to die outside in the subfreezing cold.

Eight errors are asserted by appellant, concerning: (1) the denial of appellant's motion to have the regular judge hear the case, rather than a pro-tem judge; (2) the denial of appellant's motion for appointment of expert witnesses and for funds to employ such investigators; (3) an allegedly insufficient time allowance to appellant for voir dire of prospective jurors; (4) an allegedly racially motivated striking of prospective jurors by the prosecutor; (5) the denial of [268 Ind. 129] appellant's motion to sequester the jury, for reasons of pretrial publicity; (6) the granting of the state's motion in limine, which prohibited appellant from inquiring about the prosecutrix's first child; (7) an alleged denial of the presumption of innocence throughout the trial; (8) the sufficiency of the evidence to support appellant's conviction of the murder of the infant child.

I.

Appellant first asserts that the trial court erroneously denied his pre-trial motion, which asked that the regular judge hear this case rather than the judge pro-tempore. Appellant's motion stated no cause for this change, other than the desire for the regular judge. The judge pro tempore has the same right and duty to perform as the regular judge. Ind.Code § 33-9-2-1 (Burns 1975); Bryant v. State, 256 Ind. 587, 589, 271 N.E.2d 127, 128; Treadwell v. State, (1972) 152 Ind.App. 289, 298, 283 N.E.2d 397, 403. There is thus no merit in this argument.

II.

Appellant made an oral motion for the trial court to appoint experts to help him investigate and prepare his case, and for funds to employ such persons, which motion was denied. The request was vague and general, but it was apparently meant to be for the services of private detectives. The only authority cited by appellant for this claimed right is a reference to cases dealing with the right to a public defender for indigent defendants. However, there is not a constitutional mandate, under the due process clause, that one accused of a crime be entitled at public expense to any type of expert whose help in a particular case might be relevant. United States ex rel. Smith v. Baldi, (3rd Cir. 1951) 192 F.2d 540, 547, aff'd, (1953) 344 U.S. 561, 568, 73 S.Ct. 391, 395, 97 L.Ed. 549, 556. The constitutional requirements of a fair trial and effective assistance of counsel may require [268 Ind. 130] the appointment of a psychiatrist to make an examination of defendant when an insanity plea is made. See Bush v. McCollum, (N.D.Tex.1964) 231 F.Supp. 560, aff'd, (1965) 344 F.2d 672. These requirements, however, are fulfilled in proper cases under Indiana law by Ind.Code § 35-5-2-2 (Burns 1975), and there are no further constitutional requirements for the appointment of experts. The trial judge may appoint further experts, of course, but such appointments would be within his sound discretion. No such abuse of discretion is shown in the denial of this appellant's motions, especially since the requests made were for services which could have been performed by appellant's counsel. There is thus no error on this issue.

III.

After examining the prospective jurors, the trial court announced that each side would have twenty minutes for voir dire. Appellant objected on the ground that this was insufficient time, and makes

Page 1106

the same argument on appeal. The record shows that the voir dire here was conducted by the...

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59 practice notes
  • Burris v. State, No. 981
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 29 Junio 1984
    ...has broad discretion in controlling the voir dire; only an abuse of that discretion will result in a reversal. Roberts v. State, (1978) 268 Ind. 127, 373 N.E.2d 1103. In this situation, nothing highly unusual or potentially damaging to the defendant was brought to the trial court's attentio......
  • Drollinger v. State, No. 778S146
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 26 Agosto 1980
    ...is committed to the trial court's discretion, and is subject to review only for an abuse of that discretion. Roberts v. State, (1978) 268 Ind. 127, 131, 373 N.E.2d 1103, 1106; Kincaid v. State, (1976) 265 Ind. 345, 350, 354 N.E.2d 199, 203, cert. denied, (1977) 430 U.S. 972, 97 S.Ct. 1660, ......
  • Norton v. State, No. 377S185
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 4 Agosto 1980
    ...the jury has been prejudicially exposed to trial publicity. Owen v. State, (1978) Ind., 381 N.E.2d 1235, 1240; Roberts v. State, (1978) 268 Ind. 127, Page 531 131, 373 N.E.2d 1103, 1106; Kincaid v. State, (1976) 265 Ind. 345, 350-51, 354 N.E.2d 199, 203, cert. denied, (1977) 430 U.S. 972, 9......
  • Cobb v. State, No. 778S142
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 7 Noviembre 1980
    ...v. State, (1980) Ind., 408 N.E.2d 514, 530-31; Owen v. State, (1978) 269 Ind. 513, 522, 381 N.E.2d 1235, 1240; Roberts v. State, (1978) 268 Ind. 127, 131, 373 N.E.2d 1103, 1106; Kincaid v. State, (1976) 265 Ind. 345, 350-51, 354 N.E.2d 199, 203, cert. denied, (1977) 430 U.S. 972, 97 S.Ct. 1......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
59 cases
  • Burris v. State, No. 981
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 29 Junio 1984
    ...has broad discretion in controlling the voir dire; only an abuse of that discretion will result in a reversal. Roberts v. State, (1978) 268 Ind. 127, 373 N.E.2d 1103. In this situation, nothing highly unusual or potentially damaging to the defendant was brought to the trial court's attentio......
  • Drollinger v. State, No. 778S146
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 26 Agosto 1980
    ...is committed to the trial court's discretion, and is subject to review only for an abuse of that discretion. Roberts v. State, (1978) 268 Ind. 127, 131, 373 N.E.2d 1103, 1106; Kincaid v. State, (1976) 265 Ind. 345, 350, 354 N.E.2d 199, 203, cert. denied, (1977) 430 U.S. 972, 97 S.Ct. 1660, ......
  • Norton v. State, No. 377S185
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 4 Agosto 1980
    ...the jury has been prejudicially exposed to trial publicity. Owen v. State, (1978) Ind., 381 N.E.2d 1235, 1240; Roberts v. State, (1978) 268 Ind. 127, Page 531 131, 373 N.E.2d 1103, 1106; Kincaid v. State, (1976) 265 Ind. 345, 350-51, 354 N.E.2d 199, 203, cert. denied, (1977) 430 U.S. 972, 9......
  • Cobb v. State, No. 778S142
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 7 Noviembre 1980
    ...v. State, (1980) Ind., 408 N.E.2d 514, 530-31; Owen v. State, (1978) 269 Ind. 513, 522, 381 N.E.2d 1235, 1240; Roberts v. State, (1978) 268 Ind. 127, 131, 373 N.E.2d 1103, 1106; Kincaid v. State, (1976) 265 Ind. 345, 350-51, 354 N.E.2d 199, 203, cert. denied, (1977) 430 U.S. 972, 97 S.Ct. 1......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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