Stidham v. State, No. 18S00-9310-CR-1146

Docket NºNo. 18S00-9310-CR-1146
Citation637 N.E.2d 140
Case DateJuly 14, 1994
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 140

637 N.E.2d 140
Matthew STIDHAM, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 18S00-9310-CR-1146.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
July 14, 1994.

Page 142

Kelly N. Bryan, Orlosky, Bryan and Bryan, Muncie, for appellant.

Pamela Carter, Atty. Gen., Lisa M. Paunicka and Cynthia L. Ploughe, Deputy Atty. Gen., for appellee.

GIVAN, Justice.

A jury trial resulted in the conviction of appellant of Murder, Robbery, a Class A felony, Criminal Confinement, a Class B felony, Battery, a Class C felony, and Auto Theft, a Class D felony.

In February of 1993, this Court reversed appellant's original conviction and remanded the case to the trial court for a new trial. Stidham v. State (1993), Ind., 608 N.E.2d 699. This is an appeal from that retrial.

The facts are: On the night of February 23, 1991, appellant and several of his friends, including the decedent in this case, drove to the decedent's apartment where they drank whiskey and played guitars. They eventually started "trading punches." This evidentially started as horseplay but grew into an angry encounter between appellant and the decedent.

As the fight escalated, the others joined with appellant in beating the decedent. Not only did they beat and kick the decedent, but they also struck him with a wooden club. They then loaded much of the decedent's electronic equipment into his van, gagged him, placed him in the back of the van and drove off. They eventually arrived at a secluded area near the Mississinewa River where the decedent was removed from the van and again beaten and stabbed some forty-seven times before his body was thrown into the river. After visiting with friends, who they told of the killing, appellant and his associates drove into the State of Illinois where they were arrested.

Appellant claims the trial court erred in denying a change of judge. Both at the first and second trials, appellant filed motions for change of judge. In those motions, appellant stated that shortly after the decedent's body had been put in the Mississinewa River, he and his associates drove to the home of David Dailey, the son of the trial judge, where they stole some property from Dailey. In denying those motions, Judge Dailey stated that his son was emancipated, that he had been living independently, and the last communication he had from his son was in October of 1990. As stated above, the crime was committed February 23, 1991. The judge further stated that he had no communication with his son since that time and that he had no interest in any of the property possessed by his son.

Ruling on a change of judge motion is discretionary with the trial court. This Court will not reverse that decision unless there is a clear abuse of discretion. Harrington v. State (1992), Ind., 584 N.E.2d 558. In the case at bar, there is no undisputed claim of prejudice nor has the trial judge expressed an opinion on the merits of the case. Under these circumstances, we cannot say that there is an abuse of discretion in denying appellant's motion for change of judge. See, Coates v. State (1989), Ind., 534 N.E.2d 1087.

Appellant claims the trial court erred by admitting in evidence State's Exhibit No. 16, which was a transcript of testimony of Eric Mills. Mills was an accomplice of the defendant in the perpetration of the crimes and had testified during the first trial. However, during the second trial, Mills refused to testify whereupon the State tendered the transcript of Mills' testimony at the first trial.

Page 143

Admission or exclusion of former testimony of an unavailable witness is within the discretion of the trial court. Metheney v. State (1992), Ind., 583 N.E.2d 1202. Prior recorded testimony is available if the trial court finds: 1) that the testimony was given under oath at a prior judicial proceeding; 2) that the party against whom the testimony is offered had the opportunity to cross-examine the witness at the prior proceeding; and 3) that the witness is unavailable at the time of the later proceeding. Lock v. State (1991), Ind., 567 N.E.2d 1155.

The fact that Mills refused to testify at the second trial made him an unavailable witness. See, Murphy v. State (1988), Ind., 518 N.E.2d 1079. There was no error in permitting the State to introduce Mills' prior testimony.

Appellant contends the trial court erred in permitting Officer Steve Schlegel to testify regarding blood splatters found at the scene of the crime. Appellant takes the position...

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14 practice notes
  • Harrison v. State, No. 65S00-9105-DP-380
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 4 Enero 1995
    ...is within the trial court's discretion. We review such a ruling only for a clear abuse of discretion. Stidham v. State (1994), Ind., 637 N.E.2d 140, 142; Harrington v. State (1992), Ind., 584 N.E.2d 558, 561 (per curiam). Here, defendant states no facts in his brief before this court, nor c......
  • Harrison v. McBride, No. 04-1398.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 27 Octubre 2005
    ...expressed an opinion on the merits of the controversy. Harrison v. State, 644 N.E.2d 1243, 1249 (Ind.1995) (citing Stidham v. State, 637 N.E.2d 140, 142 (Ind.1994), and Harrington v. State, 584 N.E.2d 558, 561 In reviewing the state court's decision, the district court held that AEDPA defer......
  • State v. Stidham, Court of Appeals Case No. 18A02-1701-PC-68
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 6 Septiembre 2018
    ...who they told of the killing, [Stidham] and his associates drove into the State of Illinois where they were arrested. Stidham v. State , 637 N.E.2d 140, 142 (Ind. 1994).3] A jury trial resulted in the conviction of Stidham for murder, robbery as a class A felony, criminal confinement as a c......
  • Brown v. State, No. 53S00-9310-CR-01080
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 7 Agosto 1996
    ...at a prior judicial proceeding and (iii) was available for cross examination at the prior proceeding may be admissible. Stidham v. State, 637 N.E.2d 140 (Ind.1994); Lock v. State, 567 N.E.2d 1155 (Ind.1991), cert. denied, 503 U.S. 991, 112 S.Ct. 1686, 118 L.Ed.2d 400 (1992); and Murphy v. S......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • Harrison v. State, No. 65S00-9105-DP-380
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 4 Enero 1995
    ...is within the trial court's discretion. We review such a ruling only for a clear abuse of discretion. Stidham v. State (1994), Ind., 637 N.E.2d 140, 142; Harrington v. State (1992), Ind., 584 N.E.2d 558, 561 (per curiam). Here, defendant states no facts in his brief before this court, nor c......
  • Harrison v. McBride, No. 04-1398.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 27 Octubre 2005
    ...expressed an opinion on the merits of the controversy. Harrison v. State, 644 N.E.2d 1243, 1249 (Ind.1995) (citing Stidham v. State, 637 N.E.2d 140, 142 (Ind.1994), and Harrington v. State, 584 N.E.2d 558, 561 In reviewing the state court's decision, the district court held that AEDPA defer......
  • State v. Stidham, Court of Appeals Case No. 18A02-1701-PC-68
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 6 Septiembre 2018
    ...who they told of the killing, [Stidham] and his associates drove into the State of Illinois where they were arrested. Stidham v. State , 637 N.E.2d 140, 142 (Ind. 1994).3] A jury trial resulted in the conviction of Stidham for murder, robbery as a class A felony, criminal confinement as a c......
  • Brown v. State, No. 53S00-9310-CR-01080
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 7 Agosto 1996
    ...at a prior judicial proceeding and (iii) was available for cross examination at the prior proceeding may be admissible. Stidham v. State, 637 N.E.2d 140 (Ind.1994); Lock v. State, 567 N.E.2d 1155 (Ind.1991), cert. denied, 503 U.S. 991, 112 S.Ct. 1686, 118 L.Ed.2d 400 (1992); and Murphy v. S......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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