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Court upholds robbery conviction

March 14, 2012

The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a woman’s Class B felony robbery conviction over her objections that the jury’s guilty finding for assisting a criminal is logically inconsistent with its guilty finding for robbery as an accomplice.

Dominique Woods drove the getaway car in a robbery of a woman’s purse. The woman jumped on the car to try to stop the car, and Woods drove away, causing injuries to the victim. After her arrest, Woods admitted she knew the robber was broke and wanted someone to rob. She was charged with Class B felony robbery, Class C felony robbery, Class C felony battery, Class D felony resisting law enforcement, and Class D felony assisting a criminal. The jury was instructed on accomplice liability; the jury found her guilty of Class B felony robbery, Class C felony robbery, Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness as a lesser included offense of the battery charge, and Class D felony assisting a criminal.

Woods claimed based on Joseph v. State, 659 N.E.2d 676 (Ind. Ct. App. 1995), that the robbery and assisting a criminal verdicts were inconsistent and she couldn’t be convicted of both offenses. The trial court found Joseph controlling and entered a judgment of conviction for the Class B felony robbery and Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness only.

According to Woods, the offenses of robbery and assisting a criminal are mutually exclusive, and the jury could not have found her guilty of both offenses. She asked for her robbery conviction to be vacated or to have a new trial.

In Dominique D. Woods v. State of Indiana, No. 45A03-1107-CR-292, the judges found there was sufficient evidence to support Woods committed Class B felony robbery as an accomplice.

“We conclude that, as in Newgent and Joseph, Woods’s actions after Manning stole the purse merely represented her continuing scheme or plan to aid Manning in the robbery. Moreover, as in Newgent and Joseph, the allegedly inconsistent guilty verdicts do not necessitate a new trial or reversal of the robbery conviction,” wrote Judge Michael Barnes. “Although the jury found Woods guilty of Class B felony robbery, Class C felony robbery, Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness as a lesser included offense of the battery charge, and Class D felony assisting a criminal, the trial court properly entered judgment of conviction and sentenced her for the Class B felony robbery and Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness only.”

 

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