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COA: No error in denying reckless homicide instruction

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The evidence presented at trial did not support a defendant’s request to instruct the jury on reckless homicide as a lesser offense of murder, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

Kendall Johnson was convicted of Class C felony battery and murder in the shooting death of Eric Bell in 2011. Bell came to the home where Johnson and another man were arguing and the three went outside. Witnesses then heard gunshots and found Bell’s body on the ground. He was shot 11 times, including three times in the head and four in the back.

The trial court gave Johnson the advisory sentence of 55 years on the murder conviction and four years on the battery conviction, to be served concurrently.

Johnson argued in Kendall Johnson v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1209-CR-755, that the trial court abused its discretion in declining his jury instruction. Johnson claimed the shooting started out in self-defense, but the trial court pointed out that Johnson shot bell twice at relatively close range, then again while Bell was running away.

“We see no serious evidentiary dispute concerning Johnson’s state of mind when he shot Bell. The State presented two witnesses who testified they heard multiple shots fired. Bell was wounded eleven times … . Johnson admitted shooting Bell twice at close range and continuing to shoot at Bell while running away. Therefore, it reasonably can be inferred Johnson knowingly fired his gun with the intent to hit Bell,” Judge Melissa May wrote.

The judges rejected Johnson’s argument his sentence should be reduced because he acted in self-defense and found that the advisory sentence is appropriate based on his criminal history and the details of this offense.

 

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  1. Not enough copperheads here to care anymore, is my guess. Otherwise, a totally pointless gesture. ... Oh wait: was this done because somebody want to avoid bad press - or was it that some weak kneed officials cravenly fear "protest" violence by "urban youths.."

  2. Should be beat this rap, I would not recommend lion hunting in Zimbabwe to celebrate.

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  5. All these sites putting up all the crap they do making Brent Look like A Monster like he's not a good person . First off th fight actually started not because of Brent but because of one of his friends then when the fight popped off his friend ran like a coward which left Brent to fend for himself .It IS NOT a crime to defend yourself 3 of them and 1 of him . just so happened he was a better fighter. I'm Brent s wife so I know him personally and up close . He's a very caring kind loving man . He's not abusive in any way . He is a loving father and really shouldn't be where he is not for self defense . Now because of one of his stupid friends trying to show off and turning out to be nothing but a coward and leaving Brent to be jumped by 3 men not only is Brent suffering but Me his wife , his kids abd step kidshis mom and brother his family is left to live without him abd suffering in more ways then one . that man was and still is my smile ....he's the one real thing I've ever had in my life .....f@#@ You Lafayette court system . Learn to do your jobs right he maybe should have gotten that year for misdemeanor battery but that s it . not one person can stand to me and tell me if u we're in a fight facing 3 men and u just by yourself u wouldn't fight back that you wouldn't do everything u could to walk away to ur family ur kids That's what Brent is guilty of trying to defend himself against 3 men he wanted to go home tohisfamily worse then they did he just happened to be a better fighter and he got the best of th others . what would you do ? Stand there lay there and be stomped and beaten or would u give it everything u got and fight back ? I'd of done the same only I'm so smallid of probably shot or stabbed or picked up something to use as a weapon . if it was me or them I'd do everything I could to make sure I was going to live that I would make it hone to see my kids and husband . I Love You Brent Anthony Forever & Always .....Soul 1 baby

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