Ward v. State, No. 49A02–1401–CR–25.

Docket NºNo. 49A02–1401–CR–25.
Citation15 N.E.3d 114
Case DateAugust 15, 2014
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

15 N.E.3d 114

Dee WARD, Appellant–Defendant
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee–Plaintiff.

No. 49A02–1401–CR–25.

Court of Appeals of Indiana.

Aug. 15, 2014.


15 N.E.3d 116

Karen Celestino–Horseman, Indianapolis, IN, Attorney for Appellant.

Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana, J.T. Whitehead, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, IN, Attorneys for Appellee.

OPINION

BRADFORD, Judge.

CASE SUMMARY

During the early morning hours on April 10, 2013, Appellant–Defendant Dee Ward repeatedly struck J.M. with a leather belt, causing J.M. to suffer extreme pain and serious bruising from her waist to her ankles. J.M.'s mother and step-father called 911 upon discovering J.M.'s injuries immediately after Ward dropped J.M. off at their home. The medical personnel who treated J.M. observed the severity of J.M.'s injuries. In the course of receiving treatment, J.M. indicated to the treating paramedic and emergency room forensic nurse that her injuries were caused by Ward. Ward was subsequently charged with and convicted of Class C felony battery and Class A misdemeanor domestic battery.

On appeal, Ward contends that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting J.M.'s identification of him as the attacker through the testimony of the treating paramedic and forensic nurse. Ward also contends that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction for Class C felony battery, i.e., battery committed by means of a deadly weapon. Concluding that the Confrontation Clause does not apply because J.M.'s statements to the treating paramedic and forensic nurse were not testimonial and that the evidence is sufficient to prove that Ward committed the underlying battery by means of a deadly weapon, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

As of April of 2013, Ward and J.M. had been dating, off-and-on, for a period of nearly two years. During this time, J.M. sometimes stayed overnight with Ward. On occasions when she did not stay with Ward, J.M. would stay with her mother and step-father. Also during this time, Ward visited the home of J.M.'s mother and step-father on numerous occasions. J.M.'s step-father was also familiar with the vehicle driven by Ward.

J.M. did not stay with her mother and step-father on the night of April 9, 2013. During the mid- to late-afternoon on April 10, 2013, J.M.'s step-father saw Ward drive up in front of his home. After the vehicle stopped, J.M. exited the passenger side of the vehicle and began to walk toward the home. Ward then drove off as “quick as possible.” Tr. p. 146.

J.M.'s step-father noticed that J.M., who normally walked quickly, was moving “very gingerly.” Tr. p. 144. J.M.'s hands were shaking, and it appeared as though “every step hurt her.” Tr. p. 145. J.M. was also hanging her head and crying. When J.M. reached the home, she told her step-father that she was hurt and asked where her mother was. After looking at J.M., J.M.'s step-father knew that something was “really wrong.” Tr. p. 148.

When J.M.'s mother saw J.M., she observed that J.M. appeared to be in pain. J.M. leaned on the kitchen counter, asked for a cigarette, pulled her pants down to her ankles, and showed her mother her

15 N.E.3d 117

buttocks and legs. J.M. told her mother, “I'm hurting, it hurts.” Tr. p. 123. J.M.'s mother could see that J.M. had pink, red, and purple colored welts all across her buttocks and down both the inside and outside of both of her legs. The welts extended from J.M.'s hips to her ankles. J.M. was still crying and seemed ashamed, hurt, and scared. Despite J.M.'s request to the contrary, J.M.'s mother asked J.M.'s step-father call 911.

Paramedic Linda Hodge–McKinney responded to the 911 call. Paramedic Hodge–McKinney had been trained in dealing with domestic violence cases. She had previously responded to over 100 cases involving victims who were struck with a belt, and was trained to recognize injuries caused by a belt. When paramedic Hodge–McKinney met with J.M., J.M. was weak and quiet, but responsive. J.M. seemed scared and was whimpering. J.M. indicated that Ward had “beat her with a belt and wouldn't let her leave.” Tr. p. 202.

While being examined by paramedic Hodge–McKinney, J.M. stated that she was in “a lot of pain.” Tr. p. 205. When paramedic Hodge–McKinney asked “[o]n a scale of one to ten, with one being the least amount of pain you've ever been in, ten being the most amount of pain you've ever been in,” J.M. rated her pain a ten. Tr. pp. 205–06. J.M. indicated that the pain was “the most pain she's ever felt in her life.” Tr. p. 218. A police officer who responded to the scene also observed that J.M. was suffering from “[m]assive bruising, basically all over her body especially her legs and buttock, welts, dark blue and black bruises. Pretty severe.” Tr. p. 161.

In light of the severity of J.M.'s injuries, paramedic Hodge–McKinney determined that J.M. required hospitalization. Paramedic Hodge–McKinney was concerned that J.M. may have been suffering from internal injuries to her kidneys or abdomen. Paramedic Hodge–McKinney transported J.M. to Methodist Hospital.

At Methodist, J.M. was treated in the emergency room by forensic nurse Julie Morrison. While treating J.M., forensic nurse Morrison observed that J.M. was “obviously in a lot of discomfort, she was rolled up in a ball ... a near fetal position on one side, all hunched over, sort of in a protective sort of stance.” Tr. pp. 242–43. After forensic nurse Morrison inquired into what had happened, J.M. stated that she had been “struck repeatedly with a belt.” Tr. p. 244. Forensic nurse Morrison observed that J.M. suffered from severe bruising. She documented the bruising by depicting the injuries on a body map because “there were too many bruises” to describe in a narrative form. Tr. p. 270. In addition to severe bruising from her waist to her ankles, J.M. also suffered soreness in her head, neck, and scalp. In light of the severity of J.M.'s injuries, forensic nurse Morrison ordered tests to make sure that J.M. was not suffering from internal injuries to her kidneys or lungs. Based on her observations of and discussion with J.M., forensic nurse Morrison made J.M. a “no information” patient, meaning that Methodist would not release information about J.M.'s hospitalization to incoming callers.

On April 22, 2013, Appellant–Plaintiff the State of Indiana (the “State”) charged Ward with five counts: (1) Class B felony criminal confinement, (2) Class C felony battery, (3) Class C felony intimidation, (4) Class A misdemeanor domestic battery, and (5) Class A misdemeanor battery. The State subsequently requested and was granted permission to amend the charging information to include an additional charge of Class C felony battery.

On July 30, 2013, Ward filed a motion to exclude the testimony of J.M. because J.M.

15 N.E.3d 118

failed to appear for a scheduled deposition. On August 6, 2013, the State responded to Ward's motion, stating that Ward's motion should be denied because J.M. was classified as a missing person and therefore did not have notice of the scheduled deposition. The trial court denied Ward's motion on or about August 13, 2013.

On September 13, 2013, the State provided notice of its intent to introduce J.M.'s statements regarding the identity of her attacker through the testimony of the medical personnel who treated J.M., including paramedic Hodge–McKinney and forensic nurse Morrison. Following a hearing on the State's request, the trial court granted the State permission to introduce J.M.'s statements regarding the identity of her attacker through the testimony of paramedic Hodge–McKinney and forensic nurse Morrison.

On December 4, 2013, the trial court conducted a bench trial. During trial, paramedic Hodge–McKinney and forensic nurse Morrison testified, over Ward's objection, that J.M. identified Ward as her attacker. Paramedic Hodge–McKinney and forensic nurse Morrison also testified about the extensive bruising to J.M.'s lower body, the severe pain suffered by J.M., and the concern for internal injuries, i.e., injuries to J.M.'s abdomen, kidneys, and lungs. Following the presentation of the State's evidence, the trial court, on Ward's motion, dismissed the count alleging that Ward had committed Class B felony criminal confinement. The trial court subsequently found Ward guilty of the remaining charges.

On December 18, 2013, the trial court entered a judgment of conviction against Ward for one count of Class C felony battery and one count of Class A misdemeanor domestic battery. The trial court sentenced Ward to four years for Class C felony battery and one year for Class A misdemeanor domestic battery. The trial court ordered that the sentences would run concurrently, for an aggregate term of four years. The trial court did not enter a judgment of conviction or impose a sentence as to the remaining charges due to double-jeopardy concerns. This appeal follows.

DISCUSSION AND DECISION

I. Admission of Evidence

Ward contends that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting certain evidence at trial. Although Ward originally challenged the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
6 practice notes
  • State v. Hill, No. 1 CA–CR 12–0627.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • November 4, 2014
    ...made in connection with the provision of emergency medical care, the statement is likely to be non-testimonial. See, e.g., Ward v. State, 15 N.E.3d 114, 117, 121 (Ind.App.2014) (victim's statements in emergency room were made primarily for the provision of emergency medical care where victi......
  • State v. Hill, No. 1 CA–CR 12–0627.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • November 4, 2014
    ...made in connection with the provision of emergency medical care, the statement is likely to be non-testimonial. See, e.g., Ward v. State, 15 N.E.3d 114, 117, 121 (Ind.App.2014) (victim's statements in emergency room were made primarily for the provision of emergency medical care where victi......
  • Ward v. State, No. 49S02–1602–CR–96.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • February 19, 2016
    ...the trial court, and that the challenged statements were nontestimonial and therefore did not violate the Sixth Amendment. Ward v. State, 15 N.E.3d 114, 119, 121 (Ind.Ct.App.2014). We now grant transfer, thereby vacating the opinion of the Court of Appeals.1 See Ind. Appellate Rule 58(A)(2)......
  • Wilson v. State, Court of Appeals Case No. 21A-CR-101
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • October 20, 2021
    ...when Wilson struck him on the shoulder with the pipe, the pipe was readily capable of causing serious bodily injury. See Ward v. State , 15 N.E.3d 114, 122-23 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014) (noting these items had been determined to be deadly weapons: leather belt, long-handled plastic flashlight, sc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • State v. Hill, No. 1 CA–CR 12–0627.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • November 4, 2014
    ...made in connection with the provision of emergency medical care, the statement is likely to be non-testimonial. See, e.g., Ward v. State, 15 N.E.3d 114, 117, 121 (Ind.App.2014) (victim's statements in emergency room were made primarily for the provision of emergency medical care where victi......
  • State v. Hill, No. 1 CA–CR 12–0627.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • November 4, 2014
    ...made in connection with the provision of emergency medical care, the statement is likely to be non-testimonial. See, e.g., Ward v. State, 15 N.E.3d 114, 117, 121 (Ind.App.2014) (victim's statements in emergency room were made primarily for the provision of emergency medical care where victi......
  • Ward v. State, No. 49S02–1602–CR–96.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • February 19, 2016
    ...the trial court, and that the challenged statements were nontestimonial and therefore did not violate the Sixth Amendment. Ward v. State, 15 N.E.3d 114, 119, 121 (Ind.Ct.App.2014). We now grant transfer, thereby vacating the opinion of the Court of Appeals.1 See Ind. Appellate Rule 58(A)(2)......
  • Wilson v. State, Court of Appeals Case No. 21A-CR-101
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • October 20, 2021
    ...when Wilson struck him on the shoulder with the pipe, the pipe was readily capable of causing serious bodily injury. See Ward v. State , 15 N.E.3d 114, 122-23 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014) (noting these items had been determined to be deadly weapons: leather belt, long-handled plastic flashlight, sc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT