Shepler v. State, No. 180S2

Docket NºNo. 180S2
Citation274 Ind. 331, 412 N.E.2d 62
Case DateNovember 07, 1980
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 62

412 N.E.2d 62
274 Ind. 331
John SHEPLER, Appellant (Defendant Below),
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff Below).
No. 180S2.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
Nov. 7, 1980.

[274 Ind. 332]

Page 64

John P. Avery, Indianapolis, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Carmen L. Quintana, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

PRENTICE, Justice.

Defendant (Appellant) was charged by information with, Count I, auto theft, Ind.Code § 35-43-4-2 (Burns 1979); Count II, attempted murder, Ind.Code § 35-41-5-1; § 35-42-1-1 (Burns 1979); Count III, battery, Ind.Code § 35-42-2-1 (Burns 1979); Count IV, resisting a law enforcement officer, Ind.Code § 35-44-3-3 (Burns 1979); Count V, theft, Ind.Code § 35-43-4-2 (Burns 1979); and Count VI, habitual offender, Ind.Code § 35-50-2-8 (Burns 1979). After trial by jury, he was convicted upon Counts I, IV and VI. 1 The trial court sentenced the defendant to six (6) months imprisonment on Count I; three (3) years imprisonment on Count IV, sentences to run concurrently; and to thirty (30) years imprisonment on Count VI. This direct appeal presents the following issues:

(1) Whether or not the trial court erred in admitting the defendant's confession.

(2) Whether or not the trial court erred in continuing the trial in the defendant's absence.

[274 Ind. 333] (3) Whether or not the trial court conducted a proper voir dire examination of the jury regarding their possible exposure to newspaper publicity.

(4) Whether or not the evidence is sufficient to support the verdict of guilty of resisting a law enforcement officer.

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(5) Whether or not the trial court improperly admitted evidence of flight during the State's presentation of rebuttal evidence.

(6) Whether or not the trial court erred in refusing to give the defendant's tendered instruction number nine which would have informed the jury that they should acquit upon the battery charge if they found that the battery was provoked.

(7) Whether or not the trial court erred in giving an instruction on flight.

(8) Whether the bifurcated procedure provided for by the habitual offenders statute is constitutional, and whether the statute is unconstitutional as subjecting an accused to double jeopardy.

(9) Whether or not the prosecutor, in summation, improperly commented upon Defendant's failure to testify.

(10) Whether or not the record fails to show that the gun the defendant carried was loaded.

(11) Whether or not the trial court erred in failing to give the defendant's tendered instruction on recklessness, as a lessor included offense.

(12) Whether or not the trial court erred in refusing to provide funds for an investigation or alternatively to release the defendant to enable him to make an investigation, to determine whether one of the jurors had been biased against him.

ISSUE I

Over timely objection and a pre-trial suppression motion, the trial court admitted a redacted transcript of a tape recorded statement which the defendant had given to the police within eight (8) hours after his arrest. The statement, in pertinent part, consists of a confession to the charge of auto theft and resisting a law enforcement officer. The defendant[274 Ind. 334] contends that the confession was not knowingly and voluntarily rendered.

It is the State's burden to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant voluntarily and intelligently waived his rights, and that the defendant's confession was voluntarily given. Grey v. State, (1980) Ind., 404 N.E.2d 1348, 1351; Magley v. State, (1975) 263 Ind. 618, 626-27, 335 N.E.2d 811, 817. In considering whether such burden was satisfied, we look at the totality of the circumstances, to determine whether there had been any inducement, such as violence, threats, promises, or other improper influence. Grey v. State, supra; Nacoff v. State, (1971) 256 Ind. 97, 101, 267 N.E.2d 165, 167. However, in reviewing the trial court's ruling upon the issue, when the evidence is in conflict, we will consider only that evidence which supports the ruling, and the unrefuted evidence in the defendant's favor. Feller v. State, (1976) 264 Ind. 541, 545, 348 N.E.2d 8, 12-13.

The defendant was arrested on the day of his wife's funeral. The arrest was effected at the funeral home by three police officers acting pursuant to a warrant. At the hearing had on the motion to suppress the confession, the defendant testified that Officer Crisler had told him, by telephone on the previous night, that no arrest would take place until after the services at the cemetery had been concluded, and that Officer Crisler later promised him a ride to the cemetery, if he cooperated.

Another arresting officer, Officer Paschall was alleged to have said that the defendant should not try to get up and run out of the interrogation room, or the officer would get him before he got to the door.

The defendant was interrogated from approximately 11:30 a. m. until 6:30 or 7:00 p. m., without having food or drink. He was told that a lawyer, whom he had used in the past, had been contacted and was not interested in defending him. The officers also asked a number of questions concerning the defendant's relationship with his wife and the details of her recent death, but these questions and answers were not included in the redacted version admitted at trial.

The defendant further testified that several of his answers appearing in the statement were untrue, that he had taken four tuinal tablets during the morning of the funeral and that the drugs had depressed [274 Ind. 335] him even further and that he had smoked

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marijuana that morning as well and could not think clearly at the time the statement was given.

Defendant claimed that he had signed a waiver of his rights without reading it. However, he acknowledged that he was aware of his right to counsel and knew that he did not have to give a statement if he did not want to. He also acknowledged that he knew that he could stop the questioning at any time. He made no request for food, permission to urinate or for the assistance of a lawyer. In general, he was not in physical discomfort.

Defendant also testified that he made his statement in order to obtain a ride to the cemetery and that he assumed that, if his former attorney did not want his case, neither would any other.

Marilyn Walker confirmed the defendant's ingestion of four "blue tips" (tuinal) and his generally depressed mood on the day of the funeral.

Detective Crisler testified for the State and stated that the defendant did not appear depressed and did not slur his words. He also testified that he made no promises to the defendant, although the defendant had mentioned the possibility of his going to the cemetery. He admitted that he had told Defendant's sister that he could go to the cemetery.

Detective Paschall testified that while at the funeral home, he advised the defendant of his rights and while at the police station, he told the defendant that if he tried to run, he would not get very far. He also testified that during the interrogation, the defendant asked if he could go to the graveyard, but that he did not indicate that the giving of his statement was contingent upon obtaining permission. During the interrogation, the defendant was calm and in control of himself.

Paschall acknowledged that he had told the defendant that he could go to the burial grounds, if he signed the statement and cooperated.

Upon the foregoing, we find there was ample evidence to sustain the trial court's denial of Defendant's suppression motion. North Carolina v. Butler, (1979) 441 U.S. 369, 99 S.Ct. 1755, 60 L.Ed.2d 286; Jackson v. State, (1980) Ind., (No. 879 S 241); Grey v. State, (1980) Ind., 404 N.E.2d 1348, 1352; Brown v. State, (1979) Ind., 390 [274 Ind. 336] N.E.2d 1000, 1003; Franklin v. State, (1977) 266 Ind. 540, 546, 364 N.E.2d 1019, 1022; Ortiz v. State, (1976) 265 Ind. 549, 553-54, 356 N.E.2d 1188, 1191; Montes v. State, (1975) 263 Ind. 390, 399, 332 N.E.2d 786, 793.

ISSUE II

On the second day of trial and during the State's presentation of its evidence, the defendant failed to reappear, following the lunch recess. Following a delay of one hour and fifteen minutes, during which time the defendant neither appeared nor contacted the court, the trial was resumed. The defendant did not appear on the following day, and the trial continued and was concluded in his absence.

The defendant contends that the resumption of trial, in his absence, violated his rights under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 13 of the Indiana Constitution. 2 He has offered no explanation for his absence either by way of his motion to correct...

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34 practice notes
  • Commonwealth v. Bright, SJC–11016.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • September 13, 2012
    ...Other States require that the voluntariness of a confession be proved to the judge beyond a reasonable doubt, see, e.g., Shepler v. State, 274 Ind. 331, 334, 412 N.E.2d 62 (1980); State v. Nadeau, 1 A.3d 445, 465 (Me.2010); People v. Witherspoon, 66 N.Y.2d 973, 974, 498 N.Y.S.2d 789, 489 N.......
  • Partlow v. State, No. 182S28
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 22, 1983
    ...and that the defendant's confession was given voluntarily. Chandler v. State, (1981) Ind., 419 N.E.2d 142; Shepler v. State, (1980) Ind., 412 N.E.2d 62. Defendant and his mother were fully informed of the purpose of the officers' visit to the trailer and the defendant was informed of his co......
  • Thompson v. State, No. S03G0176.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • September 15, 2003
    ...sufficiency of the evidence to support the judgment of conviction, we confine our consideration to the trial record"); Shepler v. State, 274 Ind. 331, 412 N.E.2d 62, 67 (1980) (cannot consider evidence presented at suppression hearing in reviewing sufficiency of evidence to convict); Chambe......
  • Spearman v. State, No. 49A04-0006-CR-261.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • March 6, 2001
    ...the injustice to a defendant from a jury determining his guilt or innocence with knowledge of his prior conviction. In Shepler [v. State, 274 Ind. 331, 412 N.E.2d 62, 69 (1980) ], we explained the rationale underlying the bifurcation requirement: "The purpose of . . . bifurcated proceeding[......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
34 cases
  • Commonwealth v. Bright, SJC–11016.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • September 13, 2012
    ...Other States require that the voluntariness of a confession be proved to the judge beyond a reasonable doubt, see, e.g., Shepler v. State, 274 Ind. 331, 334, 412 N.E.2d 62 (1980); State v. Nadeau, 1 A.3d 445, 465 (Me.2010); People v. Witherspoon, 66 N.Y.2d 973, 974, 498 N.Y.S.2d 789, 489 N.......
  • Partlow v. State, No. 182S28
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 22, 1983
    ...and that the defendant's confession was given voluntarily. Chandler v. State, (1981) Ind., 419 N.E.2d 142; Shepler v. State, (1980) Ind., 412 N.E.2d 62. Defendant and his mother were fully informed of the purpose of the officers' visit to the trailer and the defendant was informed of his co......
  • Thompson v. State, No. S03G0176.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • September 15, 2003
    ...of the evidence to support the judgment of conviction, we confine our consideration to the trial record"); Shepler v. State, 274 Ind. 331, 412 N.E.2d 62, 67 (1980) (cannot consider evidence presented at suppression hearing in reviewing sufficiency of evidence to convict); Chambers v. S......
  • Spearman v. State, No. 49A04-0006-CR-261.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • March 6, 2001
    ...the injustice to a defendant from a jury determining his guilt or innocence with knowledge of his prior conviction. In Shepler [v. State, 274 Ind. 331, 412 N.E.2d 62, 69 (1980) ], we explained the rationale underlying the bifurcation requirement: "The purpose of . . . bifurcated procee......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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