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Woman’s burglary conspiracy conviction affirmed

July 25, 2014

The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday affirmed the conviction of a correctional officer who played a role in arranging the burglary of a safe from a friend’s home.

The court ruled that there was sufficient evidence and that the trial court properly denied a motion for a mistrial in Jennifer L. Patch v. State of Indiana, 68A05-1309-CR-460.

A jury in Randolph Superior Court convicted Jennifer Patch of leaving a window open at the woman’s house and arranging for another person to enter the house and remove the safe while Patch and the victim were at a restaurant, according to the record.

Patch moved for a mistrial, arguing that a prosecutor had committed misconduct by talking with witnesses and counsel during a break while a separation of witnesses was in place. Judge Melissa May wrote for the panel that such orders generally apply to witnesses and not counsel or judges.

“The evidence is sufficient to convict Patch of Class B felony conspiracy to commit burglary, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Patch’s motion for a mistrial," May wrote. "Accordingly, we affirm."

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