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Accomplice’s murder conviction upheld

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A woman who threatened that her baby’s father and his brother would kill the man who punched her several times had her conviction of murder upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals. She sat in a car while with the boyfriend and his brother killed the man.  

Brittney Watson got into a physical fight with Cornelius Miller in November 2010 after she called him a “rapist” because of his alleged Internet posting of nude photos of Watson’s friend. Watson then got into a fight with Miller’s girlfriend. Witnesses heard Watson make threats that “somebody is going to die” and that she would have her brothers come down and kill someone.

Watson called her baby’s father, Steven Rice, and his brother Stephon Rice to say she had been beaten. They, along with several other people, went to Miller’s house, where Steven and Stephon shot Miller and killed him. Watson remained in the car when the shooting happened and then fled the scene.

She was charged with Miller’s murder; the state’s theory was that she acted as an accomplice. She was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison, with five years suspended to probation.

An accomplice can be found guilty of murder if she knew or intended that the victim would be killed by a principal. The judges in Brittney Watson v. State of Indiana, 71A03-1303-CR-91, found probative evidence supports Watson’s conviction. She told the mother of Miller’s children that she was going to have her brothers come back and kill Miller. She told a friend that the Rices were bringing guns with them. Watson didn’t oppose the plan to kill Miller and actually spoke up to stop Stephon Miller from shooting the wrong person.

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