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COA holds omission of 'voluntary' was not an error

June 5, 2012

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision to refuse a man’s tendered jury instructions.

In Kevin C. O'Connell v. State of Indiana, No. 18A02-1109-CR-889, Kevin O’Connell argued that the trial court abused its discretion by not allowing the word “voluntary” to be added to the elements of the offenses he was charged with committing.

O’Connell stumbled into a gas station and knocked over a shelving unit before he lit a cigarette inside the store. The cashier asked O’Connell to leave, and once outside, he sat in his car, proclaiming that he was Jesus Christ, and then got out and sat by the entrance to the gas station. Police noticed a strong odor of alcohol on O’Connell and arrested him, and O’Connell later attempted to escape. He was convicted of Class C felony attempted escape, Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct and Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

The COA held that the substance of O’Connell’s tendered jury instructions was included in other instructions given by the trial court, and therefore, the instructions as a whole did not misstate the law or otherwise mislead the jury.


 

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