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Burglary conviction was impermissible double jeopardy

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Because some of the facts establishing the elements of a Class A felony burglary conviction also established all of the essential elements of the Class B felony burglary conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered one conviction be vacated due to double jeopardy.

In Shamir Chappell v. State of Indiana, No. 89A01-1106-CR-265, Shamir Chappell helped Carlotta Wilkerson break into the home where Maurice and Heather Jones lived. Maurice Jones was in a relationship with Wilkerson despite being married. The Joneses were staying at the home in order to remove the remainder of Maurice Jones’ sister’s belongings before her eviction date. During the break-in, Wilkerson stabbed Heather Jones twice, and Chappell tried to punch Maurice Jones.

Chappell was convicted of aiding, inducing or causing: Class A felony burglary resulting in bodily injury, Class B felony burglary of a dwelling, and Class C felony battery. He was also convicted of Class D felony residential entry. He admitted to being a habitual offender and was sentenced to an aggregate term of 70 years.

The Court of Appeals found the state presented sufficient evidence to support his convictions of burglary, but that the Class B felony conviction should be vacated due to double jeopardy. He was convicted of both the Class A and Class B felonies for one act of breaking and entering into the home. In addition, the only actual evidence differentiating the two convictions was the element of bodily injury to Heather Jones, wrote Judge Paul Mathias.

The COA remanded with instructions to vacate the sentence for the Class B felony conviction, which the trial court had ordered be served concurrently with the Class A felony conviction. They also found that the aggregate sentence of 70 years is not inappropriate.

 

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