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Brother’s previous threat allowed at trial

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The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Monday that a threat made by a man against his brother a year before the man threw hot water on the brother was properly admitted into evidence during trial.

In Michael R. Sudberry v. State of Indiana, 45A03-1206-CR-298, Michael Sudberry appealed his conviction of Class C felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury committed against his brother Kenneth Sudberry. The two lived at home with their ailing mother and did not get along. The brothers started fighting Aug. 27, 2011, over a seat at the kitchen table during breakfast. They threw water on each other and pushed each other.

Michael Sudberry stabbed his brother with a pencil; his brother then pushed Sudberry. The altercation ended when Michael Sudberry picked up a pot with hot water, threw it on his brother and then pressed the pot against his face. Kenneth Sudberry had second-degree burns on parts of his upper body.

Michael Sudberry didn’t testify at his trial, but his self-defense claim was placed at issue through a detective’s report and a taped statement he gave to the officer. Kenneth Sudberry later testified that on June 29, 2010, after the two brothers pushed each other, Michael Sudberry said “If you push me again, I will kill you.” No other physical altercations happened until the Aug. 27 incident.

“Kenneth testified that there were no physical altercations between him and Sudberry between the date of the threat and the date of the battery. Thus, a reasonable jury could conclude that Sudberry did not have a reason to act on his threat until the date of the battery. Sudberry notes that he did not carry out his threat – he did not kill Kenneth; however, the evidence was undisputed that Sudberry severely injured Kenneth and that Kenneth received assistance only because he managed to call 911 himself,” Judge Terry Crone wrote in affirming that admittance of the evidence of the threat.

The judges also concluded that the evidence admitted rebuts Michael Sudberry’s claim of self-defense.

 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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