Non life-threatening injury gets aggravated battery conviction reversed

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A defendant who shot at a car with a semiautomatic rifle, causing a bullet to graze the driver, did not commit Class B felony aggravated battery because the injury inflicted upon the victim did not create a substantial risk of death.

The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed one of Bobby Alexander’s convictions for Class B felony aggravated battery in Bobby Alexander v. State of Indiana, 49A04-1207-CR-351. The court concluded Alexander was convicted on the basis of his actions rather than on the basis of the statute which requires the injury to pose the risk of death.

Alexander was charged with two counts of Class A felony attempted murder and two counts of Class B felony aggravated battery after he shot at a car and injured two of the occupants. The passenger suffered significant injuries, but the driver, Ryan Little, sustained a graze wound on his back and did not receive any medical treatment.

Following a two-day trial, the jury found Alexander guilty of two aggravated battery charges but not guilty of the attempted murder charges.

The Court of Appeals agreed with Alexander that the state’s evidence was insufficient to prove that the defendant knowingly inflicted an injury on Little that created a substantial risk of death.

“Indeed, the record before us reveals that the State appears to have been confused on this substantial risk of death element for the Class B felony aggravated battery charge,” Judge Rudolph Pyle wrote for the court. “In both the charging information and the State’s closing argument, the State asserted that it needed to prove that Alexander’s actions of shooting at Little’s car created a substantial risk of death. However, the aggravated battery statute clearly provides that it is the injury inflicted upon the victim – not the defendant’s actions – that must create a substantial risk of death.”

The Court of Appeals remanded with instructions that the trial court enter judgment of conviction for battery as a Class C felony and resentence accordingly.


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  1. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

  2. Wake up!!!! Lawyers are useless!! it makes no difference in any way to speak about what is important!! Just dont tell your plans to the "SELFRIGHTEOUS ARROGANT JERKS!! WHO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN ANOTHER MAN/WOMAN!!!!!!

  3. Looks like you dont understand Democracy, Civilized Society does not cut a thiefs hands off, becouse now he cant steal or write or feed himself or learn !!! You deserve to be over punished, Many men are mistreated hurt in many ways before a breaking point happens! grow up !!!

  4. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon

  5. So men who think they are girls at heart can use the lady's potty? Usually the longer line is for the women's loo, so, the ladies may be the ones to experience temporary gender dysphoria, who knows? Is it ok to joke about his or is that hate? I may need a brainwash too, hey! I may just object to my own comment, later, if I get myself properly "oriented"