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Self-defense claim of man who killed 2 fails on appeal

April 19, 2013

An Indianapolis man’s claim that the state failed to disprove his claim of self defense did not persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to revisit his two murder convictions and sentence of 115 years in prison.

Razien McCullough was convicted of the December 2010 killings of Lawrence Miles and Miles’ young daughter, Archie, with whom McCullough and the child’s mother shared a home. After an argument in the basement, McCullough obtained a handgun and shot the victims in the head, according to the court record. McCullough concealed the victims’ bodies on a back porch before calling police.

“The only evidence that he acted without fault or that his reactions were reasonable was contained in his statement to police, an audio recording of which was played to the jury. The jury, however, was under no obligation to credit this evidence and did not,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote for the court in an eight-page ruling.

 “In light of the nature of his offenses and his character, McCullough has failed to establish that his 115-year aggregate sentence for two murders is inappropriate,” Bradford wrote in Razien McCullough v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1210-CR-789.

The case on appeal from Marion Superior Judge Mark Stoner relies exclusively on an audio/video record prepared under a pilot project, the court indicated in a footnote. The panel of Bradford and judges James Kirsch and Melissa May will review about 15 cases from Stoner’s court and a like number from courts in Allen County and Tippecanoe County.

 



 

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