ILNews

Brother’s previous threat allowed at trial

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The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Monday that a threat made by a man against his brother a year before the man threw hot water on the brother was properly admitted into evidence during trial.

In Michael R. Sudberry v. State of Indiana, 45A03-1206-CR-298, Michael Sudberry appealed his conviction of Class C felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury committed against his brother Kenneth Sudberry. The two lived at home with their ailing mother and did not get along. The brothers started fighting Aug. 27, 2011, over a seat at the kitchen table during breakfast. They threw water on each other and pushed each other.

Michael Sudberry stabbed his brother with a pencil; his brother then pushed Sudberry. The altercation ended when Michael Sudberry picked up a pot with hot water, threw it on his brother and then pressed the pot against his face. Kenneth Sudberry had second-degree burns on parts of his upper body.

Michael Sudberry didn’t testify at his trial, but his self-defense claim was placed at issue through a detective’s report and a taped statement he gave to the officer. Kenneth Sudberry later testified that on June 29, 2010, after the two brothers pushed each other, Michael Sudberry said “If you push me again, I will kill you.” No other physical altercations happened until the Aug. 27 incident.

“Kenneth testified that there were no physical altercations between him and Sudberry between the date of the threat and the date of the battery. Thus, a reasonable jury could conclude that Sudberry did not have a reason to act on his threat until the date of the battery. Sudberry notes that he did not carry out his threat – he did not kill Kenneth; however, the evidence was undisputed that Sudberry severely injured Kenneth and that Kenneth received assistance only because he managed to call 911 himself,” Judge Terry Crone wrote in affirming that admittance of the evidence of the threat.

The judges also concluded that the evidence admitted rebuts Michael Sudberry’s claim of self-defense.

 

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  1. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

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